Manifat Destiny: John Daly, Kirby Puckett and the Greatest Obese Athletes Ever
Apparently being morbidly obese and becoming an athletic legend are not mutually exclusive. However, only a few have triumphed over their plus-sized eating habits to conquer their sport.
In researching the greatest hefty athletes of all time, it was clear that most enjoyed the taste of cake as much as their athletic success. But food never slowed these stars down in their quests to become legends.
Not only should there be a Hall of Fame for gargantuan athletes, but they should be recognized for conquering their sports just as easily as they consumed hot dogs and beer.
This is a compilation of the 10 most influential and dominant obese athletes of all time in any sport.
Perhaps bigger really is better. Enjoy.
10. The Wild Thing: John Daly
"I believe nicotine plus caffeine equals protein."—John Daly
Arguably the most talented golfer ever (including Tiger Woods), Daly was the Babe Ruth of golf.
He smoked cigarettes during tournaments and loved anything fried.
He won the PGA Championship during his first year on the pro tour. He also won the British Open and was a backup singer on a Kid Rock album.
Daly had a drink named after him—an alcoholic version of an Arnold Palmer Iced Tea, the "John Daly" mixed drink contains Ketel One Vodka, iced tea, lemonade and lemon.
Estimated Maximum Weight
9. Kirby Puckett
“I'm retired, man. I'm loving it. Just being a bum. I kind of like it.”—Kirby Puckett
A first-ballot Hall of Famer, Puckett played his whole career with the Minnesota Twins before retiring at the tender age of 35 because of Glaucoma-related problems.
He led the Twins to World Series titles in 1987 and 1991 and finished with 2,304 career hits. He was only 5'7" and somehow stole 17 bases in 1992.
Estimated Maximum Weight
8. George Foreman
"With my patented new grill, all the fat drains directly into my mouth." - George Foreman
Estimated Max Weight: 280 Pounds
Not only did Foreman win 76 of 81 fights in his career (68 by K.O.), he won back the heavyweight title at the age of 45 when most boxers couldn't dream of anymore glory in the ring.
He beat Joe Frazier to win heavyweight title in 1973 and won the Olympic gold medal in 1968 at the Mexico City Olympics.
Ironically, he introduced families to healthy indoor grilling with his new grill.
Nickname: Big George
7. David Wells
"I drank beer, and I had a career year." - David Wells
Estimated Max Weight: 250+ (at least 285)
Since MLB clubhouses don't have scales that surpass 250, that was listed as his playing weight.
It is no secret that he was much larger.
Wells dominated on the field, making the playoffs with six different teams and winning the World Series with the Blue Jays in 1992 and the Yankees in 1998.
He won 239 games in his career and threw a perfect game when he was hungover.
An upset stomach may have caused him to get beaten up by a smaller guy at a diner in New York City.
Nickname: Snack Wells
“The people who criticize I could care less. If you wake up on this side of the ground you're in good shape.” - Eric Esch
Estimated Max Weight: 415 pounds
Known as "the King of Four Rounders," Eric Esch couldn't last much longer in a fight. He is known by his opponents as the greatest super heavyweight boxer of the modern era.
5. Shaq Diesel
"I need to get a six-pack first. Right now, I’ve only got a 4.892-pack." - Shaquille O'Neal
Estimated Max Weight: 340 pounds
When you're 7'1" it is hard to see the large amount of weight, but Shaq had plenty of girth.
Perhaps the most dominant NBA player ever, Shaq won four NBA titles (three with the Lakers and one with the Heat), was named MVP in 2000 and finals MVP in 2000, 2001 and 2002.
Had an Album of the Year Grammy for "You Can't Stop the Reign" and was a supporting actor in "Kazaam."
Nickname: Big Daddy, Shaqtus, The Big Aristotle (self-created)
4. Charles Barkley
"I know I'm a fat, old has-been, but there's no way an old man of 67 can outrun me. It's impossible!" - Charles Barkley
Estimated Max Weight: 300 pounds
He won two Olympic gold medals and finish his career as one of five players with 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists.
Barkley was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006 and continued to speak his damn mind, turning down the offer to be a role model and icon to young athletes.
He is still angering fans on a daily basis as an NBA analyst.
Nickname: The Round Mound of Rebound
3. the Bus
“But that's nothing new. We're going to be a running team whether it's Ben or Tommy or Charlie at quarterback. And we'll still throw the football, too." - Jerome Bettis
Estimated Max Weight: 260 pounds
Considered one of the greatest backs ever, Bettis carried smaller defenders into the end zone on his back consistently.
At 252 pounds, he was a unique breed at the running back position.
After winning the Superbowl with the Steelers in 2006, he retired.
He is currently fifth all-time in rushing yards with 13,662 yards.
Nickname: The Bus
2. the Fridge
"Even when I was little, I was big." - William Perry
Estimated Max Weight: 382 Pounds
Not only was "The Refrigerator" a dominant defensive lineman, but he also ran with the ball and scored touchdowns for the Chicago Bears.
Seen as a hybrid fullback/defensive lineman, Perry was a fan favorite and was used in goal line and short yardage situations.
Won a Superbowl with the Bears in the 1985 season.
Nickname: The Fridge
1. The Babe
"I learned early to drink beer, wine and whiskey. And I think I was about 5 when I first chewed tobacco." - George Herman Ruth
Estimated Max Weight: 260 pounds
Babe Ruth played on seven Championship teams (three with the Red Sox and four with the Yankees) and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1936.
He had a remarkable .690 slugging percentage for his career and finished with 2,873 hits.
While he also held the home run record for almost 50 years with 714, he was just as dominant as a pitcher. He won 94 games and had a career 2.28 ERA.
He might have been known for his appetite as much as his athletic prowess with his love for beer and hot dogs.
He had an affinity for desserts, cigars and girls.
Nickname: The Colossus of Clout, The Bambino