One of the finest ever footballers in the world was the Hungarian Ferenc Puskás, that’s him above, who in the 1950s scored eighty-four goals in eighty-five international appearances for Hungary, which is a very impressive strike rate indeed especially when you consider that England’s top goal scorer, Bobby Charlton, only scored forty-nine goals in one hundred and six games and even Pelé, who is generally reckoned to be the greatest footballer ever, couldn’t match this level of performance with seventy-seven goals in ninety-two games for Brazil.
In the middle of this goal fest Hungary lost a game against Czechoslovakia and Puskas was suspended for life by the National Football Association, for “laziness on the pitch”. This was about as dim as suspending Jo DiMaggio for not making a home run or Jonny Wilkinson for missing a penalty. He was pardoned just a couple of months later.
A bit of a shame that he didn’t get one more goal for a 100% record and at 98.8% I suppose that is very similar to Don Bradman, the Australian cricketer who retired with an international batting average of 99.94%. Now that, it seems to me, is just about as close to perfection as it is possible to get.
I don’t understand baseball and I am not really qualified to talk about it but I will give it a mention anyway. Henry Chadwick, an English statistician raised on cricket, was an influential figure in the early history of baseball and in the late 19th century adapted the concept behind the cricket batting average to devise a similar statistic for baseball. A career batting average of over .300 is considered to be excellent and an average higher than .400 almost unachievable.
Bearing that in mind, Ty Cobb, nicknamed ‘The Georgia Peach’, holds the record for highest career batting average with .366, 8 points set during his playing career from 1905 to 1928. The record has stood for a very long time. Cobb was and played for the Detroit Tigers and is credited with setting ninety MLB records during his career.