By Brad Boeker, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Mar 2, 2:29 pm EST
As Major League Baseball approaches opening day 2012, it's intriguing to look at some of the greatest single-season records in baseball history.
A new season always means one or more of these marks may finally fall. I focused on offensive records for this list.
Ichiro Suzuki, 262 hits, 2004 - It took 84 years for someone to top George Sisler's 1920 season of 257 hits, so this record is set to last a long time.
Rogers Hornsby, .424 batting average, 1924 - For this record, I did not consider seasons that occurred in the so-called Dead Ball Era, generally thought to have ended after the 1919 season. Ted Williams is the last hitter to have broken the .400 mark with his .406 average in 1941.
Barry Bonds, .609 on-base percentage, 2004 - Bonds also holds 2nd place on this list, a .582 mark in 2002. Those percentages were driven by huge numbers of intentional walks (120 in 2004). For players not suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs, Ted Williams' .553 OBP in 1941 is tops.
Babe Ruth, 457 total bases in 1921 - The last time a player came within 10 of this mark was 1927, when Lou Gehrig had 447 TB.
Hack Wilson, 191 RBIs in 1930 - I find it interesting that when one takes a look at the top-10 seasons for runs batted in, every player on that list is in the Hall of Fame. Manny Ramirez drove in a phenomenal 165 runs in 1999, and he was still a very good month (26) short of Wilson's number.
Ricky Henderson, 130 stolen bases in 1982 - With apologies to Hugh Nicol and Arlie Latham, who stole a combined 267 bases in 1887, Henderson's is the true stolen base mark, topping Lou Brock's 118 in 1974.
Ron Hunt, 50 times hit-by-pitch, 1971 - I include this record because I admire Hunt's willingness to take one for the team—repeatedly. This seems to have been a specialty of Hunt's. He was hit 243 times in his career, #6 on the all-time career list.
Omar Moreno, 560 outs made, 1980 - This is just a fun record, though probably not for Omar. 560 outs means a whole lot of times walking back to the dugout.
Mark Reynolds, 223 strikeouts in 2009 - Reynolds is amazingly good at striking out. He holds numbers 1, 2, 4, and 9 on the single-season strikeout list. To be fair, the year he set the record he also hit 44 home runs and drove in 102 runs.
Earl Webb, 67 doubles in 1931 - Todd Helton took a run at this mark in 2000, finishing with 59 doubles.
Records and statistics found at http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders.
Brad Boeker is an avid MLB fan. He lives in Illinois and roots for the Cardinals.