In my nearly four years here at Guinness World Records – and about half of that time writing this sports blog – I’m hard-pressed to think of a month that saw this much action.
April/May and September tend to always be full of record breaking, as seasons and sports overlap. But this September – wow.
Read on to get caught up on some of the records broken by the professionals this month. Then make sure to check out the video at the end of the post for some of our favorite sports records broken by you the fans this month.
A PINSTRIPED PAIR
Let’s start with baseball, where the end of the regular season has brought upon us many player retirements. Two, though, stick out above the rest in terms of world records, and both come from the same team.
New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte is calling it a career (for the second time) after 17 seasons in the bigs. While the lefty starter was never in the same stratosphere as contemporaries like Pedro Martinez or Randy Johnson, he will hang up his cleats with a slew of records to his name.
Not only does Pettitte have the most career pickoffs in MLB history, he also owns the postseason records for most wins (12), starts (42), and innings pitched (263), often near the front of the dynastic Yankees’ rotation of the 1990s.
But the most notable sports retirement comes from elsewhere in that Bronx clubhouse. Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has retired after 19 seasons, a time in which he cemented himself as the greatest relief pitcher ever.
A 13-time All-Star, Rivera has his fingerprints all over our database. He, of course, owns the most saves in MLB history. But he also has the most pitching appearances with one team, most World Series games played of any pitcher, most games finished by a pitcher and, fittingly, the combination of Rivera and Pettitte own the record together for most combined wins and saves by an MLB duo.
One of both the most elegant and fearsome pitchers the game has ever seen, Rivera spent all year enjoying a deserved retirement tour. The game was lucky to have him and, fittingly, these two longtime teammates gave us one last iconic moment before they both said goodbye.
The US Open came and went this month, and saw Rafael Nadal look like the on-court panther he was before recent knee injuries slowed him down. The Spaniard claimed his 13th Grand Slam by vanquishing a familiar foe: Novak Djokovic. The two hold the record for most head-to-head matches played in the open era (37).
The win – coupled with his French Open victory – also gives Nadal the record for most consecutive seasons with a Grand Slam singles title, this being his ninth year taking home that hardware he still can’t believe isn’t chocolate.
His triumph puts him now – at age 27 – four Grand Slams shy of tying Roger Federer’s career mark for most won.
AROUND THE WORLD
Sneaking in just at the end of the month was Wilson Kipsang’s fastest marathon, which you can read about here. …Floyd Mayweather earned $41.5 million in his 12-round victory over Canelo Alvarez this month. It’s the largest guarantee to a fighter in boxing history and the fight also broke the record for highest pay-per-view revenue at $150 million. …Lionel Messi still not ceasing to amaze: his three goals against Ajax in a 4-0 win give him the most Champions League hat tricks ever, with four. …Wladimir Balentien of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows passed the legendary Sadaharu Oh for the most home runs in a Nippon Professional Baseball season with 58 this year. …Tulsa Shock guard Riquna Williams sits atop the WNBA record books; her 51 points in a game against San Antonio this month is the most in league history. …Peyton Manning started his season in style. His 7 touchdown passes against the Baltimore Ravens tied the NFL record for most TDs thrown in a game. …And Jim Furyk became the latest professional golfer to join the 59 club, tying five others for the lowest round in PGA Tour history at the BMW Championships.
Annnnd I’m out of breath.
That was a ton of great stuff, but there’s more! Check out our video here to learn about a woman who ran 129 marathons in one year and more amazing records broken by fans like you.
See you next month!