BOSTON — Columnist George F. Will recently challenged readers to name a better baseball season. It would be hard to, in light of the Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa home-run record chase.
But what about other athletes who have grabbed our attention by breaking and setting records? Here's a look at some other notable sports figures who have changed history.
* Hank Aaron
On April 8, 1974, in Atlanta, Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's all-time record of 714 home runs. Aaron retired with 755 home runs, still the all-time record. No major-league player has even come close to breaking it.
* Wilt Chamberlain
In a neutral-site game between the Philadelphia Warriors and the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962, in Hershey, Pa., Chamberlain scored an NBA record of 100 points against the Knicks. David Thompson of the Denver Nuggets is the only player who has come close with 73 points in 1978.
* Billie Jean King
In 1976, the tennis star teamed up with Martina Navratilova to win the women's doubles at Wimbledon, giving her a record 20 Wimbledon championships (six singles, 10 doubles, four mixed doubles). She not only paved the way for women tennis players, but also for female athletes. Incidentally, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the "battle of the sexes" match when King beat Bobby Riggs at the Houston Astrodome in 1973.
* Cy Young
This legendary pitcher posted 511 career victories over his 22-year Major League Baseball career, 95 more than Walter Johnson, who is in second place. After his death in 1955, the Cy Young award was established to honor the outstanding pitcher of the year.
* Don Shula
The NFL coach of Baltimore Colts (1963-69) and Miami Dolphins (1970-95) compiled 347 wins over his 33-year career, an NFL record. His 1972 Dolphin team won all 17 of its games, including the playoffs, the only time that it has ever been accomplished.
* In your view, is the home-run race between McGwire and Sosa the greatest single-season accomplishment in professional sports history? E-mail responses to: firstname.lastname@example.org