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The Untouchables
Adam Duerson
July 30, 2007
A new DVD examines the MLB records most likely to last
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July 30, 2007

The Untouchables

A new DVD examines the MLB records most likely to last

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EARLY IN Baseball's Most Unbreakable Feats, a DVD released this month by Major League Baseball Productions, Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan recalls that when he broke into the big leagues in 1966, "the two records they said would never fall were Babe Ruth's home run record and Walter Johnson's strikeout record." As is often the case, "they" were wrong. Ruth's 714-homer record has now been passed twice, and Ryan made relatively short work of Johnson's mark of 3,509 K's, passing the Big Train in 1983 and finishing his career with 5,714 whiffs.

Many a barroom or bleachers debate has raged over which records are forever, but Feats takes its own angle on the topic. Hosted by Roger Clemens, it uses historical footage and interviews with Hall of Famers and current players to examine 10 accomplishments that may never be equaled: Ted Williams's .406 average, Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, Rickey Henderson's single-season and career steals marks and Cy Young's 511 career wins, to name four. The footage is compelling, but what sets Feats apart is the contributions it gets from active players. There's illuminating inside-the-game commentary—Devil Rays speedster Carl Crawford marvels at the beating Henderson (below) must have taken from all those headfirst slides—plus a poll of more than 160 active players, coaches and managers that ranks the 10 feats in order of unbreakability.

The results are surprising. Ryan's strikeout mark comes in as the second-most beatable record, and more active players think someone will outhit Pete Rose than think a team will win more than the five straight World Series the Yankees took from 1949 through '53.

By far the most admired feat is Cal Ripken Jr.'s consecutive games streak. Clemens is a revelation as well. Never known for a polished camera presence, he's a lively host and is reverent about the greats of the game—even those ( Ryan, Young, Bob Gibson) whose marks he'd love to topple. Feats is an entertaining reminder of what Barry Bonds has made many forget: Even if legends are unreachable, chasing them can be fun.

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