David Eckstein: Major League Baseball's Little Guy

Stephen WilliamsCorrespondent IApril 21, 2008

Being Major League Baseball's smallest player is not an easy task, especially in the modern era, when the game is becoming more of a power hitter's game.

At 5'7", Eckstein is the smallest player currently on a Major League roster. Yet he finds himself making USD$4.5 million in 2008 across the border in Toronto.

How does Eckstein make up for his size? Hustle. Every inning of every game, whether he has gone 0-4 or 4-4, he sprints out of the dugout and to his shortstop position. After every ball that comes off his bat, whether back to the pitcher or rolling in the gap, he sprints down to first base.

That is what makes the college game so fun to watch. College players aren't playing for money. They are just out there trying to earn a spot on the field.

David Eckstein still plays like that.

No one has mistaken Eckstein for a superstar in this league, even though he was the 2006 World Series Most Valuable Player with St. Louis. His career average of .286 is not going to stand out to anybody, and his 31 career home runs may stand out to some people only because it is such a low number.

He has never hit more than eight–yes, eighthome runs in a season. Nineteen players hit 31 or more home runs in the 2007 season alone.

However, yesterday Eckstein was able to get everything he had into a pitch and hit a three-run home run to lead the Blue Jays past the struggling Detroit Tigers.

In today's time, fantasy baseball has become very popular. Fantasy baseball managers don't want players like Eckstein on their team, because they don't put up the eye-popping numbers that everyone loves, but I guarantee there is not one manager in the Major Leagues that wouldn't want David Eckstein on his team.