The Detroit Tigers are sending out one of the biggest teams to ever play in a World Series. In game one against the San Francisco Giants, Detroit manager Jim Leyland filled out a starting lineup with six players 210 pounds or heavier.
At catcher, Detroit started Alex Avila. He weighs in at 5′ 11″ 210 pounds. First baseman Prince Fielder comes in at 5′ 11″ 275. Normally, Fielder would tilt the field, but third baseman Miguel Cabrera balances it somewhat at 6′ 4″ 240. In the middle of the infield, shortstop Jhonny Peralta is listed at 6′ 2″ 215. Left fielder Delmon Young hasn’t missed many meals either and checks in at 6′ 4″ 240. Avisail Garcia evened things out in right field at 6′ 2″ 240 as well.
The game of baseball is full of big men. However, one would be hard pressed to find a World Series lineup like the Tigers’. Even going back to the days of the legendary Babe Ruth there has not been a lineup like this. The Babe himself was ‘only’ 6′ 2″ 215.
After Ruth, there was Frank Howard of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a member of their 1963 team that won the World Series. Howard towered over every player on the field at 6′ 7″ 255. He made New York Yankees outfielder Mickey Mantle look like a dwarf at 5′ 11″ 195.
In the 1970′s, the Pittsburgh Pirates were known as ‘The Lumber Company.’ In 1979, they won the World Series with two big men in first baseman Willie Stargell and right fielder Dave Parker. Stargell only weighed in at 6′ 2″ 188. Parker was big enough to play with the Tigers at 6′ 2″ 230.
Along with Parker, the Oakland Athletics from 1988 to 1990 boasted the ‘Bash Brothers’ in Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. This trio semi-rivals Detroit. Canseco was a rock solid 6′ 4″ 240 and McGwire was not far behind at 6′ 5″ 215.
The mighty Yankees have played in the World Series 40 times. Ruth may have been the first big man to star in a World Series for New York. However, the Yankees have never sent anything onto the field like the Tigers lineup. The only player besides Ruth to really tilt the field in pinstripes is Cecil Fielder. He played in the 1996 World Series at 6′ 3″ 230. Of course, Cecil is the father of Prince. It seems as though both have gotten their share of lucky gravy.
Who knows if all of this beef will help Detroit win the World Series? The weight has already played a role as Fielder was thrown out trying to score from first on a double in game two. The Tigers are not going to beat San Francisco with their speed.
One thing that we do know is this: Detroit has sent a group of big men onto the field. If you don’t believe it, just look at how it tilts toward their dugout when both teams are on the bench.