Every year, the World Almanac and Book of Facts compiles its list of sports records most likely to fall — not necessarily in the coming year, but in the not-to distant future. Their most recent list came today, and here’s a look.
Top Sports Records Likely to Be Broken
NFL: Career Touchdown Passes
#1: Brett Favre (1991- ), 442 passes*
Likely contender: Peyton Manning, 306 passes* (#4)
2008-09: If he maintains his 10-year average of 30 touchdown passes per season, the 32-year-old Manning will almost certainly surpass #3-ranked Fran Tarkenton (342 career TD passes) in the 2009 season. He would only need 37 touchdown passes — 12 less than his personal single season record of 49 — to crack the #3 spot in 2008. The #1 spot, however, will likely elude Manning until Favre’s (real) retirement.
NFL: Career Rushing Touchdowns
#1: Emmitt Smith (1990-2004), 164 rushing TDs
Likely contender: LaDainian Tomlinson, 115 rushing TDs* (#3)
2008-09: The 29-year-old Tomlinson needs only 9 rushing touchdowns to pass Marcus Allen (123) and move into second place all-time. And fewer than 9 seems unthinkable: Tomlinson has hit 10 rushing touchdowns in each of his seven seasons in the NFL, a record in itself. That puts Tomlinson in position to break Smith’s record by 2011 or 2012.
MLB: Career Home Runs
#1: Barry Bonds (1986-2007), 762 HRs
Likely contender: Alex Rodriguez, 553 HRs** (#12)
2009: Ken Griffey Jr. had 611 HRs at the end of the 2008 regular season, but at age 39 Griffey seems unlikely to surpass Bonds before his career ends. At his current pace — hitting more 40 home runs in 8 of the last 11 seasons — the 33-year-old Rodriguez could crack Bonds’ record by age 38. In the 2009 season, 35 HRs would vault him into 7th place on the all-time list; a repeat of his 57-home-run 2002 season would put him ahead of Sammy Sosa (609), in 6th place.
MLB: Career Hit by Pitch
#1: Hughie Jennings (1891-1918), 287 times hit by pitch
Likely contender: Jason Kendall, hit by a pitch 231 times** (#6)
2009: The 34-year-old Kendall has the somewhat dubious honor of being the active player most likely to reach the #1 spot for times hit by a pitch. Craig Biggio came within 3 hits of breaking Hughie Jennings’ 105-year-old record before retiring in 2007. Kendall has been hit an average of about 18 times per season; if pitchers continue to bean him at that rate, he could take the HBP crown in just 3 seasons.
* At start of 2008 regular season.
**At end of 2008 regular season