CC Sabathia, Baseball
CC Sabathia was always a “huge” pitcher, both ways. Standing 6’7, he towered over many other players. But his weight — over 300lbs at one point in his career — also made him an imposing figure, compared to other players. His weight has down and up multiple times through his professional baseball career. Nonetheless, it hasn’t hindered his ability to play, as he began his 18th season in the major leagues this year.
Eric Esch, Mixed Martial Arts
The fact that Eric Esch, commonly referred to as Butterbean, competed as a professional wrestler, boxer, kickboxer, and mixed martial artist was already a surprising fact. But the fact that he weighed as much as 425lbs as a professional fighter is even more startling, considering fighters are usually some of the most well-conditioned athletes in the world.
David Wells, Baseball
In the summer of 2000, the first four words of a Sports Illustrated feature story on the All-Star pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays was: “David Wells is fat.” The front cover of the magazine featured his image, and a caption that basically said that his diet consisted of chips, beer, and American League batters. At one point in his career, Wells’ weight got right up in the neighborhood of 250lbs, although some people believe it might have been higher than that.
Robert Traylor, Basketball
Robert Traylor was the Big 10 Tournament MVP while at the University of Michigan, but aptly was given the “Tractor Traylor” nickname because of his size. At one point, he was approaching the 300lb mark, which made him look more like a football lineman than a basketball player. He battled with obesity throughout his NBA career, and in 2005, he was found dead of an apparent heart attack.
Albert Haynesworth, Football
Perhaps the biggest free agent acquisition bust in the history of the league, Albert Haynesworth signed a record-breaking $100 million contract with the Washington Redskins in 2009. From then onward, he refused to participate in off-season workouts, came into camps badly out of shape, and alienated himself from coaches when he failed conditioning tests. He’ll forever be known for the shot of him laying on the field in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles, while the play was still going on.
John Kruk, Baseball
John Kruk’s approach to staying in shape can be best summarized by his response to a fan who questioned his conditioning, when he said: “I ain’t an athlete, lady, I’m a baseball player.” He is one of the most infamous players in the history of the Major Leagues for not taking his approach to diet and exercises with even a modicum of professionalism. It shouldn’t be any surprise that his weight continued to balloon after his baseball career was over.
John Daly, Golf
John Daly singlehandedly made it ok to take all class out of the game of golf, by coming onto the course wearing a polo shirt that often couldn’t cover his protruding belly, and smoking a cigarette while playing (further hindering his already poor conditioning). He eventually had to have a lap band surgically placed into him in order to get below 200lbs, although it’s very likely that his weight returned back to well north of that number.
Oliver Miller, Basketball
There’s no question that Oliver Miller is the patron saint of basketball players who were grossly overweight. While he entered the league weighing around 270lbs, at one point late in his NBA career, his weight got dangerously close to the 400lb mark. You know that this man took his eating a bit too seriously when he actually got arrested for pistol-whipping another man at a barbeque.
Pablo Sandoval, Baseball
Pablo Sandoval’s nickname went from “Kung Fu Panda” to just “Panda,” and it’s not because he was a cute and cuddly figure. Rather, the hefty Sandoval seemingly grew to the size of some of the largest and fattest bears in the world, and became such a liability for the Boston Red Sox that they simply couldn’t play their high priced acquisition. His weight went in the same direction that his salary did, through the course of his professional baseball career: higher, even higher, and then even more higher.
Bartolo Colon, Baseball
Bartolo Colon — On the days that Bartolo Colon took the mound as the starting pitcher for his team, there was always that inherent novelty of potentially the portly Colon having to move his mass when making a play in the field. The fact that he’s entering his 20th season as a professional pitcher is even more impressive, considering he’s been hefty through the course of his career.
Shaquille O’Neal, Basketball
When Shaquille O’Neal first entered the NBA, the rest of the league — if not the world — became so intrigued by him, because of his startling athleticism and agility for a man with his size. But once he got his NBA-altering free agent contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, he spent less and less time on his conditioning, and more and more time on his off-court ventures. It’s no secret that a big source of the rift between him and Kobe Bryant was because of O’Neal’s lackadaisical approach to conditioning, as compared to the militant discipline of Bryant.
Vince Wilfork, Football
When you think of the prototypical Nose Tackle in the NFL, Vince Wilfork is one of the guys who should immediately come to mind. The 325lb defensive tackle is the fire hydrant that sits right in the middle of the defense, with the sole job of being as impossible to move out of the way as he humanly can be. Even with his girth, he was an invaluable member of the New England Patriots defense for years.
Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Basketball
Even at 6’9, the near-300lbs that Glen “Big Baby” Davis carries around makes him look like quite the hefty man. He’s definitely far more known for his size and girth than he is for his actual basketball skill. After all, teammate Austin Rivers recently called out Davis, stating that Davis was “constantly out of shape” last season, as members of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Prince Fielder, Baseball
There’s already a fierce debate as to whether or not a vegan diet is really healthy for you, considering you would replace a lot of the protein with carbohydrates. That must be the case for Prince Fielder, a noted vegan, because he’s clearly getting his calories and sugar from somewhere, even if those sources are all-natural. Fielder is listed at 275lbs, but that could very well be a generous number.
Cecil Fielder, Baseball
Cecil Fielder will undoubtedly go down as one of the best power hitters in the history of Major League Baseball. He’s also going to go down as one of the portliest players to accomplish such accolades. Of course, since Fielder spent all of his career in the American League, his teams could simply hide him in their lineup as the designated hitter, thus not forcing him to have to play in the field (because of his size and immobility).