The Lansing Journal has partnered with Stacker.com to provide in-depth features that may be of interest to our readers.
By Pete Camarillo
Every year brings sports memories full of firsts and world-class athletes taking success in their sport to a new level. Was 2022 a great year for sports? Athletes like Antonio Brown, Brittney Griner, Baker Mayfield, Joe Burrow, and Serena Williams dominated headlines for various good, bad, and controversial reasons. The Los Angeles Rams, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Football Club, Golden State Warriors, and Colorado Avalanche all earned championships in a jam-packed sports year that also included the World Cup and Winter Olympics.
This year brought record moments in softball, women’s basketball, and more. Stacker studied news and statistics from throughout the year to compile a list of sports records set in 2022. Some of the performances broke long-standing records. Others raised more recently set bars. The list includes both teams and individual sports:
Aaron Judge hits 62 home runs
Aaron Judge broke Roger Maris’s 61-year-old American League record for home runs, knocking 62 homers en route to winning the AL MVP award. Judge hit his record-setting homer on October 4 versus the Toronto Blue Jays. Later in the year, he was rewarded by the New York Yankees, signing a 9-year, $360 million contract.
Max Verstappen wins 15 Formula 1 races
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen secured his 14th win of the season at the Mexican Grand Prix in October, setting the record for victories by a single driver in a Formula 1 season. Verstappen finished the season with 15 wins and earned his second-consecutive championship. Verstappen also won nine of the season’s final 11 races.
Jocelyn Alo breaks DI softball home run record
Oklahoma right fielder Jocelyn Alo set the NCAA Division I career record for home runs in a game in her home state, against Hawaii, on March 15. Oklahoma won the Women’s College World Series after sweeping Texas, giving the Sooners their second consecutive title and fourth championship in six seasons.
Sean McVay wins Super Bowl at age 36
Sean McVay became the youngest head coach to win the Super Bowl at 36 years and 20 days old when the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20, on Feb. 13 in Super Bowl LVI. The win gave the Rams their first Super Bowl since returning to Los Angeles from St. Louis; three years earlier, McVay and the Rams lost Super Bowl LIII to the New England Patriots.
Claudia Pechstein, 49, competes at Winter Olympics
At the Beijing Games, German speed skater Claudia Pechstein became the oldest woman to ever compete at a Winter Olympics at 49 years and 348 days old. Pechstein finished ninth in the Women’s 3000m and 20th in the Women’s Mass Start. During her career, Pechstein won nine Olympic medals, including five gold medals.
NHL ‘iron man’ record broken — twice
For 34 years, the NHL “iron man” record stood at 965 consecutive games played. However, it was broken twice in 2022 by Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle and Las Vegas Golden Knights forward Phil Kessel. The latter has now played in over 1,000 straight games, a streak that began in 2011.
91,648 fans attend women’s soccer match
A match at Camp Nou in Barcelona drew the largest crowd ever for women’s soccer when F.C. Barcelona faced Wolfsburg in a UEFA Women’s Champions League semifinal match in April. The 1999 World Cup match between the U.S. and China held the record at 90,185 attendees for over two decades.
Arch Manning breaks uncles’ high school records
High school football quarterback Arch Manning broke two notable high school records in one game. He passed his uncle Eli Manning in career passing yards and his uncle Peyton Manning in career passing touchdowns. Arch will play for Texas in the fall of 2023, looking to follow both of his uncles who became #1 NFL Draft picks.
Alyssa Thomas notches four triple-doubles
Connecticut Sun guard Alyssa Thomas notched four triple-doubles in 2022 — no other WNBA player has more than three over their entire career. Two of Thomas’ triple-doubles came in the WNBA Finals, which the Sun lost to the Las Vegas Aces.
Mets batters hit 112 times
Not all records set in 2022 were painless. The New York Mets got hit by more pitches than any other team in MLB history, with 112 hit batters during the 2022 season. Those bruises paid off somewhat, as the Mets reached the playoffs for the first time since 2016 — but they were eliminated in the Wild Card round.
Dutch skater sets 1000m short track mark
At the Beijing Winter Olympics, Suzanne Schulting finished the quarterfinal heat in 1:26.514, setting a new world record in the event. Schulting won her second straight Olympic gold in the 100m later that day.
Footballers flying high — really, really high
On August 29, players from Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East set the record for the highest altitude football game on a parabolic flight when eight players competed on a 75-meter square pitch built inside an aircraft. Former Real Madrid and Barcelona star Luis Figo was the most notable participant on board the flight, which reached an altitude of 20,230 feet.