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Friday, August 15, 2014

Height & Weight by position 1903-2007: observations.

Also see:


Size of Major League Baseball Players over Time
by
Kenneth Matinale
May 16, 2008


This may be yet another reason to eliminate the pitchers mound.  Data is from the Lahman database analyzed using Microsoft Access for Windows.  Much of the data derived can be found in other online google documents that I created.


1. Hall of Famers

Click to see mutiple sheets with different views of the data.

Here are the average sizes of 177 Hall of Fame players for whom data is available by position.


POS
AvgOfheight
AvgOfweight
MaxOfheight
MaxOfweight
MinOfheight
MinOfweight
CountOfplayerID
1B
73
199.684210526316
76
227
70
170
19
2B
70.5
170.428571428571
74
204
67
125
14
3B
71.8
185.6
74
203
69
170
10
C
71.375
196.666666666667
75
230
68
160
12
DH
72
185
72
185
72
185
1
OF
71.16
184.02
78
225
66
150
50
P
72.9910714285714
188.910714285714
78
216
68
155
56
SS
69.4333333333333
173.866666666667
76
225
65
150
15


Paul Molitor is the DH.

Pitchers and first basemen are almost dead even for the tallest at 73 inches, six feet one inch.

If I sort the 177 Hall of Famers on height, I find two who are 78 inches: Drysdale (P) and Winfield (OF).  Two are 77 inches: Rixey and Jenkins, both pitchers.  Four of the seven at 76 inches are pitchers: Paige, Perry, Carlton and Fingers.  Five of the eight at 75 inches are pitchers: Joss, Marquard, Grove, Bunning and Palmer.  Twelve of 28 at 74 inches are pitchers.  Shortest HoF: Maranville (SS), 65 inches.  Of the five shortest HoF, three were shortstops, including Sewell (66.5") and Rizzuto (66").  Outfielders Bill Hamilton and Hack Wilson were 66 inches.

Among the 56 pitchers, ten are shorter than six feet tall and of those ten only Whitey Ford started his career after World War II.  Ted Lyons lingered until May 19, 1946.  The latest finish date of any of the other ten was Grimes: 9/20/1934; then Coveleski 8/3/1928.  The shortest HoF pitchers: Galvin and Welch who never ate Wonderbread.

2. MVP and Cy Young winners

Click here to see all winners.

MVP from 1931 through 2006 (for whom there is data):

Height data missing for MVP winners Cochrane, Greenberg, Cavarretta, Konstanty, Rosen, Groat.

tallest: Parker, Murphy (twice), Thomas (twice), 77"
shortest: Rizzuto, Shantz, 66"; after 1955 Morgan 67" (twice)
heaviest: Thomas (twice), 257
lightest: Shantz, 162; after 1955 Versalles & Fox 150


awardID
AvgOfheight
AvgOfweight
MVP
72.6780821917808
196.503267973856


Since 1956:


awardID
AvgOfheight
AvgOfweight
MVP
73.0588235294118
200.223300970874


CY from 1956 through 2007:

tallest: Randy Johnson, 82" (five times)
shortest: Whitey Ford, Mike Marshall, Steve Stone, 70"
heaviest: Colon & Sabathia, 250
lightest: Guidry, 162


awardID
AvgOfheight
AvgOfweight
Cy Young
74.531914893617
200.797872340426


3. All MLB players for the seasons 1903 through 2007

The data in the multiple tabs is organized as follows:

- per season for all players; no weighting; each player is treated equally

- defensive positions has data derived by using players who had played a certain percentage of the MLB average number of games per team that season.  For instance, if teams averaged 162 games a player had to play a certain percentage of 162 games to be considered for that position.  Once associated with a position all players are treated equally.  The percentages per position: 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, C, OF, DH: 50%.  OF was used through the 1995 season; after 1995 players were defined as LF, CF, RF instead of OF; for those seasons and positions: 33%.  Pitchers: 10%.

- summary for defensive positions: height and weight averages every ten years and for 1903 and 2007.

Click for multiple sheets of MLB data.

My MLB data standard deviation.  See the link below.

Explanation of standard deviation.

One hundred years ago some players were surprisingly heavy.  Some maximum weights: 1903 242, 1913 250, 1918 260, 1925 290.  And minimum weights were pretty minimal: under 140 from 1903 through 1929 except for 1923 and 1924.

Players were taller than we might expect, averaging at least 70 inches each season.

On average:

tallest - 2007, 73.3 inches
shortest - 1903, 70.2 inches
heaviest - 2007, 194.7 the only season over 193
lightest - 1921, 170.7; 1917 was the only other season in which players were under 171 pounds.

Standard deviation:

Height - max 2.3 in 1996 (average 73.05) and 1992; of 14 highest seasons only 1917, 1904 and 1919 are not between 1990 and 2007.
Height - min 1.76 in 1938 (average 71.785); of 14 seasons under 2, all but 1958 were between 1929 and 1946, all of the 1930s except 1930 (2.00169105044).
Weight - max 20.65 in 2006 (average 193.35); 2005 and 2007 only other seasons over 20; 2000 through 2007 have top spots; 1903 at number 22 is the earliest season before 1989; 1904 is number 25.
Weight - min 14.3 in 1947 (average 183.1); of 13 seasons under 14, years range from 1911 to 1951.

Individuals:

tallest: Jon Rauch 83 inches; weight 230; relief pitcher active through 2007.  At 82 inches: Eric Hillman weight 225 (1992-1994), Randy Johnson (225), Andrew Sisco (270), Chris Young (250), all active through 2007.  At 81 inches: Mark Hendrickson (230) active through 2007, Terry Bross (234) 1991-1992, Johnny Gee (225) 1939-1946.   All players over 80 inches are pitchers.  At 80 inches Richie Sexson (237) active through 2007 is the only non pitcher.  At 79 inches Ron Jackson (225) 1954-1960, Frank Howard (255) 1958-1973, Walt Bond (228) 1960-1967, Bill Davis (215) 1966 & 1969, Desi Wilson (230) 1996, Ryan Minor (240) 1998-2001, Billy Ashley (227) 1992-1998, Damon Minor (230) 2000-2004, Tony Clark (240) active through 2007 were the only non pitchers.

shortest: Other than Eddie Gaedel, the midget who batted once in 1951 and was 43 inches, 65 pounds, the shortest players were 63 inches. Most of them played before 1903.  Five have played since then.  None are pitchers.  Mike McCormick (155) 1904, Stubby Magner (135) 1911, Bob Emmerich (155) 1923, Yo-yo Davalillo (140) 1953, Harry Chappas (150) 1979-1980.  Dinty Gearin at 64 inches (148) is the shortest pitcher.  Pitchers at 65 inches: Lou Bruce (145) 1904, Ed McNichol (170) 1904, Gene Krapp (165) 1911-1912.   The shortest pitcher of note was 1952 AL MVP Bobby Shantz, 66 inches (142) 1949-1964.  The most recent 66 inch pitcher was Richie Lewis (175) 1992-1998.  Shortest pitcher active through 2007 was Fabio Castro (175) 2006-2007.

heaviest: Walter Young 322 (77 Inches) 2005 (DH, 1B); over 270: Jumbo Brown 295 (76") 1925-1941 (P), Chris Britton 278 (75") 2006-2007 (P), Calvin Pickering 275 (77") 1998-2005, Andrew Sisco 270 (82") 2005-2007 (P), Bobby Jenks (270) (75") 2005-2007.

Johnny Evers 1910 by George Grantham Bain Collection [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
lightest: Johnny Evers 125 (69") 1903-1929, Pat Ankenman 125 (64") 1936, 1943, 1944.  Lightest pitcher: Jose Acosta 134 (66") 1920-1922.  Alex Jones at 135 (66") is the only other pitcher under 140.  Tied as the sixth lightest pitcher was 1952 AL MVP Bobby Shantz, 142 (66") 1949-1964.

Cathers:

tallest: Don Gile 78 inches (220) 1959-1961. 
shortest: Tony Rego 64 (165) 1924-1925.
heaviest: Carlos Maldonado 249 (73") 2006-2007.
lightest: Earle Mack 140 (68") 1910, played only one game; From 1903 through 1933 several catchers played many games and weighed 150.

First base:

tallest: Richie Sexson 80 (237) 1997-2007
shortest: Fred Haney 66 (170) 1922, eleven games; Ripper Collins is the shortest to play 100 games  in a season at 69" (165) 1937-1938.
heaviest: Walter Young 322 (77 Inches) 2005, ten games; at 260 (72") Prince Fielder is the heaviest to play 100 games in a season 2006-2007.
lightest: Earle Mack 140 (68") 1910, played only two games; at 150 (72") Gene Paulette played 139 games in 1920 with 1,428 PO;

Second base:

tallest: Dick Hall 78 (200) 1953, 7 games, 21 PO;
shortest: George Kelly 76 (190) 1925, 108 games, 272 PO; note - Danny Ainge 76 (175), who played in the NBA: 86 games in 1979, 198 PO.
heaviest: Ken Oberkfell 210 (72") over 100 games in 1979-1980
lightest: Johnny Evers 125 (69") 1903-1929,  Pat Ankenman 125 (64") 1936, 1943, 1944

Third base:

tallest: Ryan Minor 79 (210) 1998-2001, max 45 games; with at least 100 games in a season: at 77 inches Troy Glaus (245) and Enos Cabell (185).
shortest: Mike McCormick 63 (155) 1904, 104 games, 138 PO, 190 A.
heaviest: Joel Guzman 252 (78"), 2006-2007, 14 games total; Mike Busch 249 (77")1995-1996, 23 games total;Troy Glaus 245 (77") 1998-2007.
lightest: Johnny Evers 125 (69") 1903, 1906, 1911, 1917 - 21 games total; Bill Coughlin 140 (69") 100 games in 1903, 1905-1908.

Shortstop:

tallest: Joel Guzman 78 inches (252) 2007, 3 games 0 PO, 0 A; at 77 inches Archie Cianfrocco (215), Troy Glaus (245) and Enos Cabell (185) played a few games; Cal Ripken 76 inches (225) 1981-1997; at 76 inches Andy Fox (205) is the only other who played at least 100 games in a season 2002.

shortest: 63 inches: Stubby Magner (135) 1911 six games, Yo-yo Davalillo (140) 1953 17 games, Harry Chappas (150) 1979-1980 43 games total; at least 100 games in a season, 65 inches: Tommy McMillan (130) 1909, Rabbit Maranville (155) 1913-1931 most of those seasons, Jackie Tavener (138) 1925-1928, Freddie Patek (148) 1969-1979 most of those seasons.

heaviest: Joel Guzman 252 (78") 2007, 3 games 0 PO, 0 A; Troy Glaus 245 (77") played a few games; Cal Ripken 225 (76") 1981-1997.
lightest: Johnny Evers 125 (69") 1903, 11 games; Zeb Terry 129 (68") 1919 127 games.

OF:

tallest: For Seattle in 1993 two pitchers each played one game: Randy Johnson 82 inches (225) and Jeff Nelson 80 (235); at 79 inches: Bill Ashley (227) 1992-1995, max 69 games in a season; Walt Bond (228) 1960-1962,1964-1965, 1967 max 71 games in a season; Frank Howard (255) 1960, 1962-1971 played at least 100 games in a season.

shortest: Bob Emmerich 63 (155) 1923, 8 games; Ernie Oravetz 64 (145) 1955-1956, 88 games total; at 65 inches played at least 100 games in a season: Topsy Hartsel (155) 1904-1908, Herbie Moran (150) 1912-1915, Albie Pearson (141) 1958, 1961-1963, 1965.
heaviest: Frank Howard 255 (79").
lightest: Johnny Evers 125 (69") 1908, one game; at 138 played at least 100 games in a season: John Kane 1908, Harry Bay 1903-1905.



This 1998 analysis may be of interest:


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