We all know the famous records and accomplishments in sports. There's Barry Bonds and his home run records (career, 762; season, 73). There's Emmitt Smith's all-time NFL rushing mark (18,355 yards). There's Brett Favre's touchdown passes record (508). But there are quite a few remarkable statistics that are not officially records, yet might be as surprising and impressive as any official record. Here are five feats that are as fun as they are remarkable:
* * *
Strike one,strike two, uh ...
Remember Game 7 of the 1960 World Series? The underdog Pirates beat the mighty Yankees 10-9 in the bottom of the ninth on Bill Mazeroski's walkoff homer. What made this game so unique, other than being the only Game 7 walkoff homer in World Series history? The game did not have one strikeout. Think about that. Amazing, right?
* * *
This third is a charm
Everyone knows that Tiger Woods (right) is one of the greatest golfers in the history of the sport. His 14 majors are four behind all-time leader Jack Nicklaus, and Woods' 79 PGA Tour victories are second to all-time leader Sam Snead (82). Not only has Woods dominated on this side of the ocean, but on the other side, too. Bet you didn't know this: Woods is third on the all-time European Tour list with 40 victories. That trails only Seve Ballesteros (50) and Bernhard Langer (42).
* * *
The greatest number
Did you fully appreciate just how good Wayne Gretzky (above) was as a hockey player? In case you've forgotten, these numbers will prove that he really was the Great One. Follow along. Gretzky is easily the all-time NHL leader in points (combination of goals and assists.) Now get ready to be blown away. Don't even count Gretzky's goals. In his career, he had 1,963 assists. If you just count those, he would still be the all-time points leader in NHL history. Mark Messier is second on the all-time list for points with 1,887 (694 goals and 1,193 assists). Oh, one other thing, Gretzky also happens to be the league's all-time goal scorer, too.
* * *
Speaking of golf, the biggest question over the past few years has been whether or not Tiger Woods can ever pass Jack Nicklaus on the list for most major victories. Nicklaus won 18 majors and Woods, with 14, might not have enough left in his tank to catch him. But, honestly, this race should never have been close. Nicklaus should have won way more majors. He finished runnerup in a major a remarkable 19 times. Woods, by the way, has been a runnerup six times.
* * *
Derek Jeter's fabulous baseball career is making its farewell tour this season, his 20th in the big leagues. Over that time, Jeter has played in a lot of big games. In fact, by definition, almost every single one has been meaningful. Elias Sports Bureau provided this statistic that's almost too incredible to believe: Jeter has played in just more than 2,600 regular-season games. On only one occasion - one! - were the Yankees mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. That was in September 2008, when the Yankees finished in third place behind the Rays and Red Sox.
* * *
- Sports Illustrated'sRichard Deitsch reports that Tracy Wolfson is being moved from sideline reporter on CBS's SEC football games to the lead sideline reporter for CBS's NFL Thursday Night Football package. She will work with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. Allie LaForce will move into Wolfson's old job on SEC football alongside Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson.
- ESPN Around the Horn host Tony Reali has signed a contract extension and will have regular appearances on ABC's Good Morning America. Reali will be the morning show's first social media contributor. Meantime, Around the Horn is expected to move the home base from Washington, D.C., to a studio in Times Square in New York.
- ESPN college basketball news: Analyst Digger Phelps announced his retirement, but some believe that Phelps didn't have his contract renewed. New York Post sports critic Phil Mushnick writes that he wouldn't be surprised if Bob Knight didn't return next season.
* * *
Interesting news involving Canadian sports television: The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and Radio Canada will undergo massive cutbacks over the next two years, and don't be surprised if it scales way back on its sports coverage. For starters, 657 employees, about 8 percent of the workforce, will be let go. Meantime, CBC will no longer bid on professional sports contracts. It already lost Hockey Night in Canada rights to Rogers. However, the CBC is committed to trying to keep Olympic TV rights.
* * *
Three things that popped into my head
1. The Bucs need a receiver, and there are two special ones in the draft in Clemson's Sammy Watkins and Texas A&M's Mike Evans, but I just think No. 7 overall is too high to take a wide receiver.
2. It's a long way off and things could change, but if Matt Moore needs surgery and misses a year and David Price is traded in the offseason, next year's Rays rotation to begin the season could be Alex Cobb, Chris Archer, Jeremy Hellickson, Jake Odorizzi and who knows? Not bad, but not anywhere close to the best in baseball.
3. The Masters is just as enjoyable without Tiger Woods. Actually, that's not true. Golf is always better with Tiger.