2012 sports year in review: records, achievements, plus sundry feats and streaks from Brees and Bryant to Cain and Ko

It’s impossible to list all the records set in 2012, but here’s a short rundown of some heralded highlights, plus 20 of our favorites, including some you might have missed.

2. Perfect game raises Cain

In a big year for perfect big-league pitching performances – there were a record three – San Francisco’s Matt Cain deserves credit for what some consider the second greatest perfect game in history. The greatest in the estimation of many was a 1965 gem tossed by the Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax, who struck out 14 Chicago Cubs and threw 107 pitches altogether. Cain, by comparison, also struck out 14 Astros while throwing 125 pitches in an 11-0 victory. So what if Houston was the worst team in the majors in 2012? Given that Cain received the poorest run support in the majors since 2005, he deserved to receive some attention for his consistently solid efforts over the past four years. (The other perfect games in 2012 were turned in by Seattle’s Felix Hernandez and Phil Humber of the Chicago White Sox.)

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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