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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The 13 Best Fat Baseball Players of All Time

Posted By on Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 8:45 AM

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5. Miguel Cabrera

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Remember when Miguel Cabrera came up with the Florida Marlins, back during one of those runs they used to make before selling the team for scrap? That Miguel Cabrera was a skinny Venezuelan kid who could wallop the holy hell out of the ball.

Now, a decade later, Cabrera might be the best hitter in the game, having just won the first triple crown since the '60s, and the skinny Venezuelan kid is long gone. He still has the baby face, but that's just because it's so round nowadays.

The bad news? There's an entire town in China that has to relocate ever few days in order to balance out the Prince Fielder/Cabrera infield combination in Detroit, like that scene in Speed where Keanu had everyone go to one side of the bus so it would tip over making a turn.

4. Hack Wilson

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Baseball's all-time single season RBI king, Hack Wilson was a born slugger in an era when that usually meant a boxer, not a baseballer. (Also, baseballer was a word.) He was also a notorious boozehound and gadabout (old timey words are awesome), and basically drank his career away.

Still, the 1930 season of Hack Wilson stands even today as one of the most ridiculous ever put together by a major league apple-hurler. (Okay, that one's a bit much, I admit. And really only works for pitchers anyway.) Fifty-six home runs, 191 runs batted in, a .356 batting average, and a 1.177 OPS. You want the definition of video game numbers? That's it right there.

3. Kirby Puckett

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Everybody loves Kirby Puckett. Built even more like a bowling ball than Terry Pendleton, Puckett was nonetheless one of the most complete players of his day, and one of the best personalities the game has ever seen.

We only heard about the dark side of Puckett -- the violence and sexual harassment -- as his life away from the field spiraled out of control. But the enduring on-field legacy is hard to deny. And he did it all with a body that may, according to anonymous sources which I just made up, have served as the inspiration for another famous and beloved Kirby:

KIRBY.WIKIA.COM
  • kirby.wikia.com

2. Tony Gwynn

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Tony Gwynn was a hell of a hitter. He's apparently a pretty damned good coach, as well, as his San Diego State Aztecs are consistently one of the better teams in college baseball. Oh, and he's not the most svelte individual, either.

Every player on this list could serve as an inspiration in one way or another, I suppose, whether it's Kruk proving you can be functionally illiterate and look like an extra in a monster truck rally commercial and still be successful or David Wells overcoming the horrors of, um, gout (seriously? gout.), en route to glory. But Gwynn, he takes that to a whole other level.

Tony Gwynn was heavy. He didn't run all that well. He didn't have much in the way of power, and his fielding wasn't particularly remarkable. And yet, he's in the Hall of Fame, because the man was an artist with a bat in his hand. What Greg Maddux was to pitching, Tony Gwynn was to hitting.

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