Size Matters: Top 10 "Biggest" In MLB History

Jenn ZambriCorrespondent IJanuary 29, 2011

Size Matters: Top 10 "Biggest" In MLB History

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    Kevin Dooley, Chander, AZ / Wikimedia Commons
    Kevin Dooley, Chander, AZ / Wikimedia Commons

    Anyone who says size does not matter has clearly missed out on some key moments in baseball history.

    In the early 1900s, President Theodore Roosevelt borrowed an old African proverb by stating, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." And while he may not necessarily have been referring to baseball, the saying seems to have made impact on the sport anyway.

    The following is a list of the top 10 "big" moments, statistics and feats in baseball throughout the years.

The Biggest Bat

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    Irwin, La Broad, & Pudlin / Wikimedia Commons
    Irwin, La Broad, & Pudlin / Wikimedia Commons

    Babe Ruth played in the major leagues for 22 seasons, from 1914 to 1935. The 714 home runs he hit in that time span were smacked using the biggest bat in baseball history.

    The 52 ounce bat swung by Ruth is the largest recorded bat size ever. Most players today use bats that average around 34-36 ounces in weight.

The Biggest Paycheck

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    Alex Rodriguez / Photo: Jenn Zambri
    Alex Rodriguez / Photo: Jenn Zambri

    Big is always better, especially when money is involved. Third baseman for the New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez, signed the biggest baseball contract in MLB history in 2007.

    The 10-year, $275 million contract broke A-Rod's previous record of $252 million.

The Biggest Stature

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    Jon Rauch
    Jon RauchHannah Foslien/Getty Images

    The tallest player in Major League history is relief pitcher Jon Rauch, who measures six-feet, eleven inches in height.

    Currently a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, Rauch first took the field on April 2, 2002. This year, Rauch will be competing for the closer role with the Jays.

The Biggest Mass

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    Walter Young
    Walter YoungRobert Laberge/Getty Images

    In 2005, first baseman Walter Young crushed the competition, weighing in at a whooping 322 pounds with a body mass index of 38.2, also the biggest in baseball.

    Officially the heaviest player ever to grace a major league field, Young played only 15 games for the Baltimore Orioles in 2005 and batted .303.

    Young played in the minor leagues until 2009.  Currently, Young serves as a shift sergeant at the county jail for the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department in his home state of Mississippi.

    The heaviest current MLB player is pitcher CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees, who weighs in at 290 pounds.

The Biggest Home Run

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    Mickey Mantle / Photo: Tony the Misfit, Wikimedia Commons
    Mickey Mantle / Photo: Tony the Misfit, Wikimedia Commons

    A topic of much debate, the biggest home run in major league history was said to have been hit by New York Yankee Mickey Mantle on Sept. 10, 1960.

    Considered "the longest home run ever," this ball is estimated to have travelled around 643 feet and was hit against the Detroit Tigers at Briggs Stadium in Detroit.

    However, the longest verifiable home run distance is about 575 feet, which was hit by Babe Ruth on July 18, 1921, to straightaway center field at Tiger Stadium (then called Navin Field). It landed across the intersection of Trumbull and Cherry.

    Since 1982, when the technology for accurately measuring home runs was put in place, the longest homer stands at 535 feet. That ball was hit by Adam Dunn against Jose Lima of the Dodgers on Aug. 10, 2004.

The Biggest Dollar Amount Ever Shelled Out For A Baseball

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    Mark McGwire
    Mark McGwireElsa/Getty Images

    Mark McGwire's 70th home run baseball, which was hit on Sept. 27, 1998 off pitcher Carl Pavano, fetched a gigantic $3,054,000 at Guernsey's auction house in New York City.

    Sold on Jan. 12, 1999 to action figure and comic book creator Todd McFarlane, his collection also includes McGwire's #1, 63, 67, 68 and 69 home run balls, along with Sammy Sosa's #33, 61 and 66 home run balls.

    The over $3 million payment is the most money ever shelled out for a baseball.

The Biggest Payroll

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    Yankee Stadium
    Yankee StadiumNick Laham/Getty Images

    In the year 2010, the New York Yankees continued their streak of breaking the bank with a total team payroll of $206,333,389.

    The next closest payroll was that of the Boston Red Sox at $162,447,333. That is a difference of almost $44 million.

The Biggest Arm

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    Aroldis Chapman
    Aroldis ChapmanJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    After the invention of the modern radar gun, the fastest reliable recorded speed which a baseball had ever been pitched was 100.9 mph by Nolan Ryan of the California Angels at Anaheim Stadium in California on August 20, 1974.

    Since then, the record was broken several times with the fastest coming from Reds rookie Aroldis Chapman on September 24, 2010 at PETCO Park in San Diego. That pitch was clocked at 105.1 mph.

The Biggest Hitting Streak

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    Joe DiMaggio / Photo: Sporting News, Wikimedia Commons
    Joe DiMaggio / Photo: Sporting News, Wikimedia Commons

    Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees began an unprecedented hitting streak on May 15, 1941.  56 games later on July 16, the streak ended.  This record still stands today.

    The only other player who came close was Pete Rose in 1978.  His 44-game hit streak lasted from June 14 to Aug. 1, just 12 games short of the record set by DiMaggio.

The Biggest Determination

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    Cal Ripkin Jr.
    Cal Ripkin Jr.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    He is not called the "Iron Man" for no reason. Third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles, Cal Ripken Jr. set the record for the most consecutive games ever played with 2,632.

    The streak lasted from May 30, 1982, until Sept. 19, 1998, spanning 16 seasons.

    This feat blew away the previous record which was set by Lou Gehrig from 1925 to 1939 with 2,130 consecutive games.

    Ripken played his entire career with the Orioles and retired after the 2001 season.

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