Dubuque: Rickey Henderson, unwritten rules, and the 130

From Patrick Dubuque at Baseball Prospectus on September 20, 2016:

There are numbers in baseball that may live forever, records that will almost assuredly outlive us. Ripken’s 2,632, DiMaggio’s 56, Ryan’s 5,714, Vander Meer’s 2: they’re all achievements so prodigious, so incomparable that they don’t need units.

But there are also records that linger not because they can’t be broken, but because the game turned away from them. They’re the outliers of bygone eras, vestigial accomplishments, like inherited stamp collections. Jack Taylor holds the record for most consecutive games without being relieved, at 202. It’s a record that says more about Taylor’s era, 1901-1906, than it does about the pitcher itself. The same is true for the 101 road losses of the 1899 Cleveland Spiders. These events are so out of frequency with what we now partake as “baseball” that they’re no longer records, any more than “some” is the record for dinosaurs born in a year.

There is one “unbreakable” record included among these that was set in very modern times to great fanfare. It was one of my favorite baseball numbers, because it belonged to my favorite baseball player as a boy: 130, the number of stolen bases by one Rickey Nelson Henley Henderson in 1982.

Read the full article here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=30406

Originally published: September 20, 2016. Last Updated: September 20, 2016.