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Hardest accomplishments in sports

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by Davidko19, May 9, 2010.

  1. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    For the same reason (as AWESOME as le monde and armstrong are) I don't think "doing something consecutive times" counts either... or it opens up the door to the Gretzky and Ruth records that are somewhat untouchable. But any time you do that... somebody will eventually get n+1 and ruin the premise.

    So basically this has been an exercise in setting good scope boundaries. Let's re-ask the question...

    1> What is the most difficult individual one-time achievement in sports?
    2> What is the most difficult skill in sports?
    3> What is the most difficult team/assisted achievement in sports?
    4> What is the sports record least likely to be beaten?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My answers:

    1> Grand Slam in Tennis or Golf, Triple Crown
    2> Hitting a baseball
    3> Perfect Game in Baseball
    4> Wilt's 100 pt game, Gretzky's scoring records, Armstrong's consecutive Tours
     
  2. tiger02

    tiger02 Senior member

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    I think you meant to say his perfect game in the '56 Series was the first in 60 years -- it was actually the first in 34 years -- but that's sort of an odd thing to point out in this context, considering there have been 13 perfect games since Larsen did it. I'm not sure I'd necessarily define a perfect game as being "difficult" to accomplish, anyway. Obviously, you need to have a certain amount of skill to get 27 consecutive outs against major league hitters, but a lot of that is hugely dependent upon luck more so than skill or a degree of difficulty. Even if a pitcher gets, say, 10 strikeouts, he needs 17 balls in play to not sneak past his defense or fall in for a bloop hit or take a bad hop and bounce off his shortstop's glove. That's something a pitcher doesn't really have control over. Also, anyone who thinks hitting a fastball is the hardest thing to do in sports is romanticizing baseball. I mean I'm as hardcore a fan as anyone, but come on. Higher your standards, people. If you have at least some athletic ability -- if you can swing a bat without tipping over -- you can do it with practice once you get the timing down. You can argue that it's hard to do; don't argue that it's the hardest thing to do, especially when compared to things like running a sub-4-minute mile or pole-vaulting 20 feet or landing a quad in figure skating or successfully completing a 4 somersault dive. These are things that only a handful of supreme athletes in the entire world can accomplish. My mailman Hal could hit a fastball if I threw him in the cage with a bat for 20 minutes.
    Sure, that's luck, but so is the fall of a ball that hits the net, or a ball that lands on a sprinkler, or the bounce of a rebound. Can't even start on the luck involved anytime a ball that isn't round bounces. Point of a perfect game, is that you can't ever ever let up, and yes luck has to fall your way, but that's life, so take advantage of it! And, your comparison isn't quite right. Hal could probably hit my 60mph fastball, just like he could run a mile. He can't do either one at world class level though--he's not going to touch a tailing 96 mph fastball any more than he's going to run a 4 minute mile. In what other sport are you hailed as an all time great for failing six times out of ten?
    Statistics define sport?
    No, defense does.
     
  3. romafan

    romafan Senior member

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    Is there a triple crown in soccer? I told you, the hardest accomplishment in sports is sitting through an entire match, never mind caring about the damn sport.[​IMG]

    Treble ^^

    ^^^ this. league, nat'l cup, continental hamps cup
     
  4. gomestar

    gomestar Senior member

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    Sorry, these things are not even close to this:

    Having the lead in the TdF from start to finish. I'm not sure anyone has led the GC from start to finish.

    Also, Eddy Merckx in 1969 is the only rider to win the King of the Mountains, the points and the overall title in the same year.


    +1. I saw the thread title, immediately thought of the Tour.
     
  5. NorCal

    NorCal Senior member

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    +1. I saw the thread title, immediately thought of the Tour.
    Not to be pedantic but by definition someone wins the TdF every year. There are many accomplishments that only happen once a decade or less. And I think its a bit cheap to put a bunch of oddball restrictions on the accomplishment. It has to be something that athletes have a crack at time and time again. That puts out things like the Golden Slam as well as things that are more chance than planned, like scoring x points in a championship game or in the second game of a double header. It has to be something that players all over the world or at least through out the league have a chance at. Individual career accomplishment has got to be winning 500 games. I really don't see anyone ever even coming close to that. Individual for a season:For BB the Major Triple Crown, or a horse racing triple crown. A perfect game is also in the mix. As to the idea that a perfect game requires luck and other players, part of being a great pitcher is throwing balls that when hit lead to manageable defensive plays. And luck is allowed, I can't imagine sports without luck. Team achievement I'll go with a perfect season at the pro-level.
     
  6. MetroStyles

    MetroStyles Senior member

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    Striking out in 15 straight games.

    Oh.

    Hallo, David Wright.
     
  7. MetroStyles

    MetroStyles Senior member

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    So basically this has been an exercise in setting good scope boundaries. Let's re-ask the question...

    1> What is the most difficult individual one-time achievement in sports?
    2> What is the most difficult skill in sports?
    3> What is the most difficult team/assisted achievement in sports?
    4> What is the sports record least likely to be beaten?


    1) Finishing the tennis season undefeated. Or at the very least single-year Grand Slam.
    2) I dunno, I mean you can probably find some strange sport that has something really difficult in it. Hard to quantify.
    3) Perfect game.
    4) Dimaggio's hitting streak is the most realistic one to put here. There are others (lots of old baseball records, like Cy Young's 749 complete games) which don't even make sense in a modern context. But that one is just as relevant today but has not been approached for a long time. And it also takes longevity/injury luck out of the question. It happens in a relatively short period of time.
     
  8. StephenHero

    StephenHero Senior member

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  9. dragon8

    dragon8 Senior member

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    Perfect game
    passing for over 500 yards
     
  10. FiveFiveFive

    FiveFiveFive Senior member

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    Sure, that's luck, but so is the fall of a ball that hits the net, or a ball that lands on a sprinkler, or the bounce of a rebound. Can't even start on the luck involved anytime a ball that isn't round bounces. Point of a perfect game, is that you can't ever ever let up, and yes luck has to fall your way, but that's life, so take advantage of it!
    BABIP (batting average on balls in play) fluctuates wildly from season to season for nearly every pitcher, which means it's a statistic that relies heavily on luck rather than skill. There are pitchers who have a propensity for inducing groundballs or flyballs, but they have very little control over whether those groundballs or flyballs drop in for hits or into a defensive player's glove. That's luck. On the other hand, field goal percentage in basketball is pretty consistent and a solid indicator of a particular skill -- shooting accuracy. Given a solid sample of games, players settle around a narrow range of percentages over a handful of seasons. Beyond that, you're actually acknowledging that a perfect game requires a lot of luck, so I'm not sure what you're point is. My point was that there are several other sports accomplishments that are defined by skill and degree of difficulty more than a perfect game.
    What you're referring to here is vastly different from "hitting a fastball." You're saying "hitting a major league pitcher's fastball" or "hitting a tailing 96 mph fastball" -- difficult, I agree, but most difficult? Probably not.
    Again, you're talking about a different accomplishment. This is "getting a hit off a major league pitcher," which by the way can be achieved through luck -- a groundball that gets past a glove or a blooper.
     
  11. LawrenceMD

    LawrenceMD Senior member

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  12. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    It seems losing the bull fight would not be difficult at all - I'm sure I could do that tomorrow
     
  13. LawrenceMD

    LawrenceMD Senior member

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    It seems losing the bull fight would not be difficult at all - I'm sure I could do that tomorrow
    the horn through the tongue is like pitching a perfect game for bulls. when the news spread around the bull ranches the other bulls all mooed in reverence and respect.
     
  14. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    10 straight back to back NCAA men's b-ball championships-UCLA
    (team wise)
     
  15. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    7 straight back to back NCAA men's b-ball championships-UCLA
    (team wise)


    Fixed!
     
  16. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    For all the talk about the team effort required to pitch a perfect game, nobody mentioned the fact that the first base umpire could completely screw the pooch.
     
  17. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Senior member

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    For all the talk about the team effort required to pitch a perfect game, nobody mentioned the fact that the first base umpire could completely screw the pooch.

    I think not being visibly upset when this happens is a harder accomplishment than actually doing it. I'm not sure I've ever been more impressed with the character of an athlete and a game official than I have in the aftermath of this blown call.
     
  18. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    I think not being visibly upset when this happens is a harder accomplishment than actually doing it. I'm not sure I've ever been more impressed with the character of an athlete and a game official than I have in the aftermath of this blown call.
    +1000 exemplary behavior
     
  19. TyCooN

    TyCooN Senior member

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    The Sugar Ray Robinson Award
     
  20. frenchy

    frenchy Senior member

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    not sure if anyone has mentioned this before,Wilt Chamberlain 100 points in a single NBA game...still stands i believe and hes the ONLY one to EVER do it...like 1 theres no other.you can score a hole in one but how many times does it happen even to amateurs.
     

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