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Readers' List: Greatest career records
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On Monday, Page 2 offered its list of the greatest career records in sports history. We asked for your take, and you filled our mailbag with plenty of choices.

Here's how Page 2 editors ranked the greatest career records in sports history:

1. Ty Cobb's .366 batting average
2. John Wooden's 10 NCAA basketball titles
3. Cy Young's 511 wins
4. Wayne Gretzky's 2,857 points
5. Bill Russell's 11 NBA titles in 13 seasons
6. Jack Nicklaus' 18 major professional golf titles
7. Rickey Henderson's 1,395 stolen bases
8. Jerry Rice's 19,483 career receiving yards
9. Richard Petty's 200 NASCAR wins
10. Nolan Ryan's 5,714 strikeouts

Honorable mentions: Hank Aaron's 755 home runs, Rocky Marciano's 49-0 lifetime mark, Carl Lewis' nine Olympic gold medals in track & field, Dan Marino's 61,361 passing yards, Pete Maravich's 44.2 scoring average in college hoops, Pete Rose's 4,256 hits.

After going through more than 600 e-mails, we've listed Page 2 readers' top 10 choices below. Be sure to vote in the poll at left to crown the greatest career record in history.

1. Cy Young's 511 Wins (121 letters)
Cy Young's record 511 career wins is the only one that's absolutely unreachable. We haven't seen a 30-win season in two decades, and you'd need over a dozen of them to begin to come close. If the measure of a record's greatness is its durability, Cy stands alone.
New Haven, Conn.

Cy Young's 511 career wins -- there is no way anyone will even get to dream about this record. Although this season has been an exception, in the past 6 or 7 seasons very few pitchers have even seen 20 wins once, let alone 20 wins (or more) for 20-30 years. And to think that we have been making a big deal about Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux having a chance at 300 wins; that isn't even 60% of the way there. Walter Johnson is closest to Young, and he is almost 100 behind! Warren Spahn is the only pitcher of the last half century to even reach 350. There are many amazing career records in sports -- witness Rickey Henderson passing Cobb's runs scored mark -- but this one will last a long, long, long time.
Mike Bentley
Silver Spring, Md.

The amazing part of this is he holds the major-league record for losses, too. That tells you how healthy and awesome he was.
Kevin Brown
Baldwin, N.Y.

2. Wayne Gretzky's Point Total (52 letters)
Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky's 2,857 points has him far ahead of second place Gordie Howe (1,850).
To me, the greatest career record must be judged by how a career record compares to one's peers. Wayne Gretzky's 2,857 points gets my vote. Gordie Howe is second in career points with only 1,850. That is more than 50 percent more points for Gretzky than Howe. If you look at all other major sports, there is no one who is first in a statistical category who has 50 percent more anything than the player who is 2nd. For example you have Ty Cobb first with a career average of .366. That is indeed amazing but not all that much better than Rogers Hornsby, who had a career average of .358. Gretzky annihilated the scoring records in the NHL.
Fred Schwartz
Cockeysville, Md.

Gretzky's total point record stands out most for me, because if you took away all the goals, he would still own the record for career points.
Kevin Sheets
Boulder, Colo.

Wayne Gretzky's 2,857 points ranks No. 1 in my mind because of the incredible distance between him and No. 2, Gordie Howe at 1,850. That's just a ridiculous shattering of Howe's record. Imagine if Pete Rose had 6,000 hits or if Hank Aaron hit 1,100 home runs for his career. Or if Abdul-Jabbar scored 60,000 points. You get the idea. What's particularly amazing about Gretzky's feat is that he broke Howe's record only halfway or so through his career. Granted, NHL seasons have been about 80 games for Gretzky's career while Howe had only 60, but still ...
Zach Gorchow
Okemos, Mich.

3. Nolan Ryan's 5,714 Ks (41 letters)
He struck out everyone and their grandfathers. 27 seasons later he was throwing as hard as Randy Johnson is now, the most feared person to chuck a fastball.
Randy Hyder
Sheridan, Wyo.

My choice for the greatest record is Nolan Ryan's unbelievable record for strikeouts in a career. Even as great as Roger Clemens is, he would almost have to have another career to match the strikeouts of Nolan Ryan. This is just one of the few records that Nolan has. Even a bigger career record is his seven no-hitters -- no one will ever come close to a lot of Nolan Ryan's many records.
Brett Smith
Malone, Fla.

4. Pete Rose's Hit Record (37 letters)
Pete Rose
No one will approach Pete Rose's all-time hits record for a long time.
At Page 2 you stated you "gave special weight to the records that seemed most unbreakable." So by that rationale, we should expect to see Rose's hit record fall in a "reasonable amount of time"? Let's look at the numbers, guys...

The closest active player (if he decides not to hang 'em up before next season) to Rose's record is Rickey Henderson at No. 25 on the list. And as everyone not living in a cave the past few weeks knows, he just got to 3,000. At age 42, it's safe to say Rickey won't be around long enough to threaten the mark.

The closest active player who has a realistic chance of catching Rose's record is Roberto Alomar, and he's currently sitting at No. 92 on the all-time hits list. Alomar averages about 174 hits a season. So, based on his current career stats, if Alomar sustains a .312 batting average for the next 11 seasons, he will catch Rose's mark in the midst of his 25th season in the Bigs at the age of 44.

That kind of work load required makes Rose's record seem breakable? C'mon, fellas. Possible, yes. Likely, no. Charlie Hustle not even in your Top 10, let alone last on the Honorable Mentions list? Sheesh!
Ben Guenther
Jupiter, Fla.

5. Nolan Ryan's Seven No-Hitters (28 letters)
I think that even greater than Nolan Ryan's strikeout record is his accomplishment of seven no-hitters. No one in the game today comes close. Pitchers are too often pulled to let them have rest. No one is as dominating as he was in his prime, all 20 years of it.
Matthew Lautenbach
Madison, Wis.

6. Bill Russell's Championships (25 letters)
Bill Russell's achievement is the most impressive. Individual statistics are great, but all the individual achievements are not worth one taste of championship champagne. Just ask Ernie Banks or Don Mattingly, who never got that opportunity. For Russell to lead his team to 11, well, that is just special. He did not score 30 a game, for the good of the team. He gave up and sacrificed his own personal statistics to help lead his team to victory. That is truly the mark of a special champion, and the greatest feat of all time.
Joshua Lamel
New York

7. Hank Aaron's 755 home runs (16 letters)
Hank Aaron
Hank Aaron set the home run record despite disturbing off-field pressure.
Breaking Babe Ruth's all-time home run record is the single greatest accomplishment ever. On the field, hitting 755 home runs is remarkable. Perservering through hate mail and death threats is heroic.

8. John Wooden's NCAA championships (13 letters)
He did it with great centers in Alcindor and Walton, and he did it with Patterson, Rowe and Wicks, three forwards. He also did it with guards, Goodrich and Hazzard. It didn't matter if they weren't the tallest or the fastest, he made them into great "teams."
Doug Croze

9. Rickey Henderson's stolen base record (six letters)
Ricky Henderson
Ricky Henderson continues to add to his stolen bases record.
Rickey Henderson's 1,395 career stolen bases will never be broken. Stealing bases is a lost art in the MLB. Take a look at this years steal leader in the NL. I'm from Philly and a huge fan of Jimmy Rollins. But he led the league with just 46 stolen bases, 46! On this pace it would take him a little more than 30 seasons to break the record. Not only would the career stolen bases record be broken, but he would own the most seasons played (31), games played (4,898), triples (372)... You know where I'm going with this. That shows how good Henderson is. Give Rickey his props.
Mike Walpole

10. Pete Maravich NCAA basketball 44.2 points per game (five letters)
Pete Maravich's 44.2 points per game in college basketball is hands down the the greatest career record of all time. Pistol did this while having no 3-point line and while teams ran double and triple teams against him. If Maravich played with a 3-point arc, his scoring average would be in the 50s, because a lot of his shots would have been five feet behind the arc. This record will never be broken, even with the 3-point line.
Aric Kucel
Gloversville, N.Y.

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