MLB: Jonathan Broxton and 9 of the Best Players over 275 Pounds
Baseball, it's been said, is the fairest of sports.
You don't have to be big to play it.
You don't have to be incredibly fast to succeed.
Some of the least athletic people have been very good baseball players.
Yet the game has not been kind to the big fellas. I mean the really big guys.
We've all seen Randy Johnson throw bullets with his 6'10" frame, but there are only a few guys in the history of the game who are over 270 pounds and have succeeded.
Jonathan Broxton, pictured above, is 6'4" and listed at 295 pounds. He has an overpowering fastball and a good slider. He's been able to sustain success while few others have.
Here's a list of big boys who have stood out in the big leagues.
If we're talking poundage, we have to mention Walter Young.
He's one of, if not the heaviest players of all time. He stands 6'5" and weighed better than 300 pounds in his short career.
A prospect with big power, the Orioles brought him up in September of 2005. He hit .303 had one home run in 33 at-bats.
He bounced around the following year and is now out of baseball.
Sid Fernandez was listed as 230 pounds by the Mets, but anyone who saw him later in his career knows that if he was 230 pounds, he was also 5'4".
Even though, he wasn't the slimmest left-hander around, he pitched in the big leagues for 15 years and finished with a ERA of 3.36.
He was a big part of the 1986 Mets World Championship team, winning 16 games, but never reached that level again.
Rich Garces was always in shape. After all, round IS a shape.
The right-hander appeared in 10 different big-league seasons.
His career record of 23-10 and his ERA of 3.74 suggests he had the ability to be an effective pitcher.
He did manage to walk four hitters per nine innings.
Garces was listed at 250 pounds, but it's obvious that number was a little conservative.
Adam Dunn has been one of the premier power hitters of his generation. From 2004-2008, he hit over 40 home runs per season. In 2009 and 2010 his totals fell to 38 per season.
Those power numbers were good enough to earn a big contract with the Chicago White Sox.
This year with the Sox, he's been horrible. He's currently batting .186 and is striking out at an alarming rate.
Adam Dunn, though, is the real deal and will turn things around. At least, the White Sox hope so.
Cecil Fielder was a feared bat in the American League for years. He hit over 300 home runs and drove in over 1,000 runs.
Although his .255 career batting average doesn't suggest it, Fielder was a fine all-around hitter, able to drive the ball to all fields.
Unlike some bigger guys, he had good feet around the bag at first base.
When he was with the Tigers, he brought his son to batting practice. Legend has it, his 12-year-old son hit a ball into the upper deck of Tiger Stadium.
Of course, that son was...
Milwaukee's favorite vegetarian, Prince Fielder reportedly has tipped the scales at 290 pounds.
He's one of the most feared sluggers in the game and should make quite a splash this offseason on the free-agent market.
How much he gets, though, depends on if Albert Pujols explores the market or re-signs with the Cardinals.
Does it seem as if the storyline for each of these guys is the same?
Mo Vaughn was Big Papi before there was Big Papi.
Big time power, could hit it the other way off of the Green Monster at Fenway.
Vaughn, though popular, never was the heroic figure that Ortiz has been in Boston, and that's a shame because with the game on the line, Mo Vaughn was as good as anybody.
The Yankee's big left-hander joins the two other pitchers on this list.
He's possibly the heaviest of the bunch, being listed at 290 pounds.
But he is still capable of wheeling and dealing with electric stuff.
With all of the injuries and inconsistency for Yankee pitchers, Carsten Charles Sabathia has taken the ball regularly, won regularly and gotten guys out regularly, sporting a 3.17 ERA against a 5-3 record.
George Herman Ruth probably didn't play many innings at a weight above 275 pounds, but he is the best known "fat guy" in baseball history.
What is not widely known is that many of the photos that we remember of Ruth were taken after he retired and he was making appearances.
Although there were times he didn't take care of himself, Ruth was an exceptional athlete until the 1930s when age and injuries (and excess weight) held him down.
Many claim Willie Mays was the greatest all-around ballplayer in history, and he was exceptional. But just for a matter of comparison, consider these facts:
Mays had 10,881 at-bats in the big leagues. Ruth had 8,399. In almost 2,000 fewer at-bats, Babe Ruth had only FOUR fewer triples than Mays. He only had 15 fewer doubles than Mays. Ruth's lifetime average was higher, he had more home runs and had almost 300 more RBI.
The difference maker? Ruth led the American League in ERA twice as a pitcher and held the consecutive scoreless innings record in the World Series record until it was broken over 40 years later by Whitey Ford.