Monday, September 24, 2001
The List: Greatest single-season records
Page 2 staff
This week, Page 2 lists the 10 greatest single-season records by individuals in sports history.
Mark McGwire is facing long odds in his attempt to get into the Hall of Fame.
Check out how Page 2 editors ranked the records, then read the readers' choices for the greatest single-season record by an individual. And be sure to vote in the poll to choose the greatest of all-time.
Note: We purposely left off streaks (that will be a future list), so just consider records over an entire season.
Here's Page 2's list:
1. 70 homers (Mark McGwire, 1998)
Except for ... maybe ... Heavyweight Champion of the World!, Homer King is sports' most prestigious title.
2. 50.4 NBA scoring average (Wilt Chamberlain, 1962)
If an NBA player hits 50 once in his career, it's stop the presses The Dipper averaged 50 for an entire season.
3. 92 NHL goals (Wayne Gretzky, 1981-82)
Fifty is the gold standard here too, a mark the Great One reached in just 39 games, obliterating the old record of 50 in just 50 games, shared by Mike Bossy and Maurice "The Rocket" Richard.
Wilt Chamberlain was a scoring machine in the 1960s.
4. .424 batting average (Rogers Hornsby, 1924)
Not as magical as the home-run record, but it will never, never, never be broken.
5. 44.2 points per game NCAA scoring average (Pete Maravich, 1966-70)
Actually, the Pistol has the three highest Division 1 scoring averages, in just three years of play, and this was before the 3-point shot came into existence.
(Of course, he never passed the ball.)
6. 48 touchdown passes (Dan Marino, 1984)
Unlike baseball, football is not about records. But this one is truly amazing -- three TD tosses per game, and no serious injuries.
7. 130 steals (Rickey Henderson, 1982)
Pretty impressive, but nothing compared to his career steal totals.
Wayne Gretzky owns the NHL record book.
8. 215 NHL points (Gretzky, 1985-86)
Included a record 163 assists, which would have been enough itself to break the NHL points record (152) before The Great One came along.
9. 383 strikeouts (Nolan Ryan, 1973)
Enough heat to keep a medium-sized city warm through a bad winter.
10. 191 RBI (Hack Wilson, 1930)
As if 190 wasn't enough to shoot for, the Elias Sports Bureau dug up another one just last year, years after the stumpy, hard-drinking Cubbie's death.
Honorable mentions 2,105 rushing yards (Eric Dickerson, 1984), 26 touchdowns scored (Marshall Faulk, 2000), 41 wins (Jack Chesbro, 1904), 27.2 rebounding average (Chamberlain, 1961-62), 5,084 passing yards (Marino, 1984), 0.96 ERA (Dutch Leonard, 1914)