Just the other day, I celebrated my one year anniversary with TheSportster and realized that it all began when I made an article about massive NFL players that lost a ton of weight after their careers ended. Now, we’re going with the opposite end of the spectrum and looking at baseball players that were massive during their playing days.
In football, you naturally need to have some fat guys or else offensive and defensive lines would not generate much of an entertaining game. As for baseball, it seems that it’s the only other sport (unless you want to count pro wrestling) where a larger guy can have a long career. Hell, even the player that many consider to be the best of all time in baseball was a fat guy.
Here, we celebrate the girthy history of America’s pastime by going back and taking a look at the fattest players to ever grace the diamond. Here you have them, the 20 fattest MLB players of all-time.
20 John Kruk - 170 Lbs
Here we have one of two fat guys with a mullet on our list, the .300 career hitter John Kruk. Kruk was a three-time All-Star with the Phillies and also spent time with the Padres and White Sox in his 10 MLB seasons. Kruk is listed at 5’10” and 170 pounds, which is pretty comical to think about, especially since Chris Farley portrayed him on “Saturday Night Live” before. Kruk got much bigger during his career and has only seemed to amass more girth as a member of the ESPN broadcast team.
19 Tony Gwynn - 185 Lbs
The first ballot Hall of Famer and eight time National League batting champion, Tony Gwynn spent his entire 20 year career with the Padres and reached 15 All Star Games. Gwynn, who finished with 3,141 base hits and a staggering average of .338, was listed at just 5’11” and 185 pounds early in his career. That number would rise dramatically over the 20 seasons, but it never really seemed to affect his hitting that much. It’s estimated that he topped 300 pounds toward the end and he sadly passed away from cancer in 2014 at 54 years old.
18 David Wells - 187 Lbs
We’ve seen some hilarious heights and weights that have been listed so far, but David Wells has the funniest. Wells’ playing size was listed at 6’3” and 187 pounds, which would put him firmly into the normal BMI range. Take a look at Wells during his playing days and tell me that wasn’t a huge lie. Wells, who was known as “Boomer” by most, made three All Star Games in his 21 seasons, winning 239 games and posting an ERA of 4.13. There was even a Sports Illustrated cover with Wells that read “The David Wells Diet (Chips, Beer and American League Batters).”
17 Eddie Guardado - 195 Lbs
We have our second straight pitcher and this time it’s the reliable arm of “Everyday Eddie” Guardado. Guardado spent more than a decade with the Twins before bouncing around the league (sorry), spending time with Seattle, Cincinnati and Texas. Guardado retired in 2009 as a two-time All Star that recorded 187 saves and 798 strikeouts with a 4.31 ERA. On his Baseball Reference page, Guardado is listed at 6’0” and 195 pounds. Not only did it seem like an inch or two was added to his height, but they definitely slashed off some weight on that figure. By the end of his career, Guardado looked like a solid 250.
16 Matt Stairs - 200 Lbs
Matt Stairs always looked like that guy on your high school baseball team that always brought a can of chewing tobacco even though he was only 17 and talked about how much he would rather be hunting than sitting through a Saturday doubleheader. However, this Canadian could actually play and knocked out 265 home runs in his 19 MLB seasons with 12 different teams. Stairs is listed at 200 pounds, which is already high for someone who is just 5’9”, and he certainly looked much heavier in the portions of his career where he was rocking a sweet mullet.
15 T14. Rod Beck - 215 Lbs
Back when nicknames were still cool, Rod Beck (“The Shooter”) had a pretty good peak in his career throughout the 1990s. Beck made his debut in 1991 with the Giants, and pitched a total of 13 seasons while adding time with the Red Sox, Padres and Cubs. Beck was listed at 6’1” and 215 pounds, but that was being very generous, especially toward the late 1990s. Beck made it to three All Star Games and finished with 286 saves and an ERA of 3.30. Sadly, Beck passed away in 2007 at just 38 years old and was buried in his Chicago Cubs uniform.
14 T14. Babe Ruth - 215 Lbs
We mentioned him in the intro and here he is, the man that many consider to be the greatest baseball player to ever live. Babe Ruth played 22 seasons in the MLB (most notably with the Yankees) and swatted a then-record of 714 home runs while also knocking in 2,214 runs and batted .342. Those are some of the greatest numbers to ever be recorded by a player and you have to wonder just how good he would have been if he wasn’t pounding beer and hot dogs all the time. Ruth was listed at 6’2” and 215 pounds, but that was early on in his career. By the end, he was large enough to the point where John Goodman was able to play him in an awful biopic.
13 Mo Vaughn - 225 Lbs
Sometimes nicknames just crack you up and Mo Vaughn being called “The Hit Dog” is one of them. Vaughn was a star in the 1990s with the Red Sox, making three All-Star Games and winning the 1995 AL MVP Award. Vaughn then played two seasons with Anaheim, then missed the 2001 season, then spent two years with the Mets before bowing out. Vaughn was listed at 6’1” and 225 pounds, but any Mets fan will tell you that those 225 pounds might have only been the lower half of his body.
12 Cecil Fielder - 230 Lbs
Cecil Fielder has always been a pretty big dude, but he was somewhat slim at the beginning of his career (unlike his son, who appears later on this list). Fielder was a big bopper that came up with the Blue Jays and spent four seasons there before one year in Japan. When Fielder came back, he landed in Detroit where he was a fan favorite and made three All Star teams. Fielder finished with 319 home runs, and was listed at 6’3” and 230 pounds.
11 Antonio Alfonseca - 250 Lbs
If there’s one memorable thing about Antonio Alfonseca, it’s not his size, but the fact that he had an extra digit on his hands and feet. Alfonseca spent a bit more than a decade in the Major Leagues with stints in Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Texas. Alfonseca was a pretty imposing figure on the mound as he was 6’5” and 250 pounds, but looked like a tall guy that was out of shape toward the end of his career. Alfonseca had a decent career as a reliever, recording 129 saves and 400 strikeouts with a 4.11 ERA, and even won the 2000 NL Relief Man of the Year.
10 Pablo Sandoval - 255 Lbs
While Bartolo Colon has been the lovable fat guy for the Mets, Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval has drawn the ire of Red Sox fans lately. Sandoval was a three-time World Series champion with the Giants while he played there from 2008 to 2014, then signed with Boston before the 2015 season for five years and $90 million. Sandoval is listed at 5’11” and 255 pounds, which is already high, but clearly an understatement. Before leaving the 2016 season with a shoulder injury, Sandoval had a very memorable moment where his belt gave out on him completely during a swing in Toronto. That’s perhaps the fattest thing to ever happen in MLB history.
9 Carlos Lee - 270 Lbs
As a Cubs fan, I hated Carlos Lee (otherwise known as El Caballo) since he always seemed to destroy them. Lee spent 14 seasons in the MLB, with a bulk (sorry again) of those years spent with the Astros and White Sox. Lee made three All-Star Games, knocked out 358 home runs and batted an impressive .285 for his career. He is also the first player on the list that doesn’t seem to have his weight grossly underlisted, as he is billed at 6’2” and 270 pounds. I actually believe that. He was also deceptively fast for his size and just a good all around athlete.
8 Prince Fielder - 275 Lbs
We said that Cecil Fielder’s son would land on this list and here he is. Prince Fielder has been one of the better power hitters in the league for a decade now, spending his 12 seasons with the Brewers, Tigers and now Rangers. Fielder has 313 home runs so far in his career and is perhaps the largest person to ever be a vegetarian (it only lasted three months). Fielder is listed at 5’11” and 275 pounds, and that seems to be a little light, but maybe it’s the beard that makes him look bigger.
7 Jose Ceda - 280 Lbs
If you don’t remember Jose Ceda’s playing career, I can’t say that I really blame you. Ceda started out with the Padres organization in 2005, then pitched for the Cubs before finally making his way to the Marlins. The 6’5” 280 pound reliever made his debut in late 2010 for the Marlins, and pitched a total of 25 games, notching a record of 0-1 with no saves and an ERA of 4.66. After Tommy John surgery, Ceda never made it back to the MLB and was looking bigger than ever in his 2013 comeback attempt.
6 Calvin Pickering - 283 Lbs
You might be wondering, “Who in the world is Calvin Pickering?” That’s a good question and let me preface this by saying that he once played with an independent team named the Kansas City T-Bones. When it came to his MLB career, Pickering didn’t make much of an impact, as the St. Thomas native batted .223 and hit 14 home runs in his five seasons with the Royals, Orioles, Red Sox and Reds. Pickering looked like he had a ton of power, too, since he was listed at 6’5” and 283 pounds, but never really got to prove it. These days, Pickering is the hitting coach for the Aberdeen Ironbirds of the Single A.
5 T4. Bartolo Colon - 285 Lbs
Everyone’s current favorite fat guy in baseball has been playing in the MLB since all the way back in 1997 with the Indians. Colon is now in his 19th season, and has pitched for eight different teams (including the Expos). Colon is currently with the Mets and is playing well at 42 years old, and just recently hit his first career home run. Watching him swing most of the time is hilarious, especially in slow motion. Colon is listed at 5’11” and 285 pounds, which seems a little on the light side, but it’s not comically undersold like other players on the list.
4 T4. Jonathan Broxton - 285 Lbs
I think whenever anybody sees Jonathan Broxton come to the mound for the first time, they probably think “There’s no way this guy can pitch.” Then, Broxton throws in the upper 90s and you feel bad for judging a book by its cover. At one point, Broxton was topping out in triple digits, but is still effective as a member of the Cardinals. Broxton is in his 12th season and has a career ERA of 3.27. He is listed at 6’4” and 285 pounds.
3 Dmitri Young - 295 Lbs
Dmitri Young is one of the rare players on our list to have a playing height and weight that was actually believable at 6’2” and 295 pounds. Young played for 13 seasons in the MLB with the Cardinals, Reds, Tigers and Nationals, making the All Star Game twice. During his time in Detroit, fans affectionately called Young “Da Meat Hook” and he was pretty much the only bright spot on the awful 2003 team. Young’s career ended thanks in large part to diabetes, playing his final game at 34 years old in 2008.
2 CC Sabathia - 300 Lbs
The man that Yankees fans now feel disappointed with on a regular basis was once one of the best pitchers in baseball. Sabathia came up to the MLB with the Indians in 2001 and won a Cy Young Award before being traded to the Brewers in 2008. After the season ended, Sabathia signed with New York and has produced diminishing returns in the past few years. Sabathia is one of the heaviest players ever listed at 300 pounds, but at 6’6”, he carries it better than some of the players on our list. However, it seems that his massive workload and frame have been catching up with him.
1 Walter Young - 320 Lbs
Our list ends with the late Walter Young, who spent just 14 games in the MLB. Young was using his massive frame to bomb home runs in the minor leagues before being called up in late 2005 with the Orioles, hitting one homer in his 33 career at bats. Young was shifted to the Astros the next year, but never played in the Major Leagues again, opting to go to the independent leagues. Young was just 35 years old when he passed away from a heart attack in late 2015, and the last update that anyone had on him was that he was pursuing a degree from the University of Phoenix.
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