Book Review: Unbreakable by James Baehler


In Unbreakable: The 25 Most Unapproachable Records in Baseball by James R. Baehler, the title speaks for itself.

Image Credit: Sports Publishing Books

Records are made to be broken but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, these records are virtually impossible to break, let alone even come close! What Baehler does with Unbreakable is split the book into sections for both the Deadball and Live-Ball Eras. In doing so, he provides the stories behind these incredible records and even finds a way to compare those of the Deadball era to players in today’s era.

The most important thing that this book achieves is giving baseball fans some quantitative objective data when it comes to those inevitable arguments and baseball players and records. One has to wonder if members of the BBWAA consider such data when they fill out their Hall of Fame ballot.

Can you imagine anyone winning 41 games in 2015? Jack Chesboro did it over 100 years ago in 1904!

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Ed Walsh

threw 464 innings in one season. He pitched over 300 innings in five different seasons, including two 400-inning seasons. He was seven innings shy of a third 400-inning season in 1912. These days, there are a handful of pitchers just setting a goal for at least 200 innings in a season.

David Price

led Major League Baseball with 248.1 innings during the 2014 campaign.

This book is one of many reasons as to just why players of today’s era can’t exactly be compared to some of the early greats of the game. Because pitchers last longer in games and started every other day in some instances, it’s impossible to do so.

Number 11 on the list belongs to a Hall of Famer that played for the St. Louis Cardinals as Rogers Hornsby‘s batting average of .424 in 1924 is the highest batting average to have ever been record. As such, it’s considered to be an unapproachable record in the game.

While not exactly a tie to the Cardinals, Baehler’s 21st unapproachable record is that of Eddie Gaedel being the shortest player in baseball history when he suited up for the St. Louis Browns at 3 feet, 7 inches in 1951.

This book is a perfect book for anyone who is a fan of America’s national pastime.