America’s pastime, like the country, is at its heaviest in history. From C. C. Sabathia to Bartolo Colon, The Daily Beast finds the heftiest players in Major League Baseball.
Baseball may be the only professional sport where fatter is better. A study published last year on obesity in baseball proved what many fans already knew—the bigger the belly, the better the batter (usually). But using more than a century’s worth of data on player stats, the study also proved that nearly twice as many modern players are overweight as the pros a century ago. Even worse, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the dangerous health implications associated with carrying too much weight are the same whether the additional heft is muscle or fat.
A Daily Beast analysis of the stats of nearly 1,200 pro baseball players shows that only 15 percent of current players are a healthy size according to their BMI (a ratio of height to weight). A healthy BMI falls between 18.5 and 25; the average BMI of a major leaguer, based on statistics posted on MLB.com, is 27.
So while the country tunes in to the final moments of this season’s World Series, The Daily Beast decided to rank the players based on girth. All the height and weight statistics were pulled from each team’s published roster reports.
For the record, Babe Ruth—arguably the most famous of portly players—wouldn’t even land among the heaviest third of current ballplayers. At 6 foot 2 and 215 pounds, his BMI was 27.6.