Special Report

The Most Embarrassing Records in Sports History

Grant Suneson
Source: Park Press / Wikimedia Commons

21. Most home runs given up in one season
> Record: 50 home runs
> Record holder: Bert Blyleven
> Team: Minnesota Twins
> Year: 1986

Prior to 1986, Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven had never given up more than 24 home runs in a single season. Then, suddenly, opposing batters were taking him deep with regularity. In 1986, he gave up a modern MLB record 50 home runs. Even as home runs have become more frequent, Blyleven’s record still stands more than three decades later. Despite the home runs, Blyleven had a solid year. He posted a 17-14 record and an ERA of 4.01, slightly lower than the average AL ERA of 4.18 that season.

Source: Focus on Sport / Getty Images

22. Largest margin of defeat in an NBA game
> Record: 68 points
> Record holder: Miami Heat
> Year: 1991

The 1991-1992 Miami Heat were not a very good team, ending the year with a 38-44 record. Yet they probably didn’t think they would end up on the wrong end of the biggest blowout in NBA history.. In a December 1991 game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami came out flat — giving up 34 points in the first quarter and 39 points in the second.

After going into halftime down 20, the Heat essentially surrendered early in the second half. Miami coach Kevin Loughery pulled his five starters in the third quarter after the Cavs outscored the Heat by 19 in the quarter. The Cavs kept piling on, outscoring the Heat by 29 in the fourth for a final score of 148-80 — the biggest blowout in NBA history. Miami turned the ball over 23 times and hit just 35.5% of their shots, while Cleveland shot 57.3% from the field and 54.5% from three-point range.

Source: Vintage Sports Memorabilia / eBay

23. Most shots with no goals in one season
> Record: 154 shots
> Record holder: Gilles Marotte
> Team: Chicago Blackhawks
> Year: 1967-1968

Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” In the 1967-1968 season, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Gilles Marotte missed 100% of the shots he did take — all 154 of them. As a defender, Marotte’s primary objective wasn’t scoring, but no player has gotten close to taking that many shots without scoring in a single season. Still, Marotte had a solid season, notching 21 assists and posting a goal differential of +4.

Source: Will Vragovic / Getty Images

24. Most interceptions returned for touchdowns in one season
> Record: 7 pick sixes
> Record holder: Jameis Winston
> Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
> Year: 2019

Jameis Winston’s 2019 season was one of the weirdest and wildest in NFL history. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB led the NFL in passing yards, with over 5,000, and interceptions, with 30. Going into the final week of the season, Winston had already tied the record for most interceptions returned for touchdowns in a season with six. In that last game of the season, the Bucs were tied with the Falcons 22-22 at the end of regulation. On the first play of overtime, Winston threw the ball to safety Deion Jones, who took it the other way for a game-winning touchdown, giving Winston the infamous record.