Height Doesn’t Matter…..Size Of Heart Does
Aug 17, 2015Posted by james
Some athletes just never measured up by height standards. But short players still have achieved considerable success in Major League Baseball and other professional sports.
While the shortest player in baseball history was a publicity stunt (43-inch Eddie Gaedel batted once and walked for the St. Louis Browns), many other players who were taller than Eddie but shorter than most other big leaguers have appeared since 1900. Five players were just 5-foot-3. One inch taller was Hall of Fame outfielder Wee Willie Keeler. At 5-foot-5, Hall of Fame shortstop Rabbit Maranville and three-time All-Star Freddie Patek made headlines. Then, just an inch taller were Hall of Famers Phil Rizzuto, Miller Huggins and Hack Wilson, and just one up from that were HOFs Yogi Berra and Joe Morgan.
Presently, 5-foot-5 Jose Altuve, the shortest player in the major leagues in more than 30 years, is an All-Star with the Houston Astros. Dustin Pedroia at 5-foot-9 and Jimmy Rollins at 5-foot-7 have had exceptional long careers in the game.
In hockey, a couple of height challenged players, Martin St. Louis and Mats Zuccarello, made a huge impact for the New York Rangers during the last couple of seasons. The recently retired St. Louis is on his way to the Hockey Hall of Fame while Zucc certainly will continue to improve his game and perform at the highest level that is the NHL.
At 5-foot-3, Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues holds the record as the shortest player in NBA history. In the NFL, 5-foot-7 Maurice Jones-Drew led the league in rushing with 1,606 yards during the 2011 season while Brandon Banks, also 5-foot-7, lead the NFL in kick returns and kick return yards that same season with 1,174 yards on 52 returns.
So, as you can see, the height of an athlete sometimes has nothing to do with his or her personal achievements, the role the athlete will play on a team, or the impact each will have for a team. For each of the players mentioned here, and for the many more not mentioned or still working their way up, we must remember always to look first at the size of their hearts. That is the true measure of success.