Height is might in basketball, there’s no question about that. But what if we tell you that the tallest players in the history of Major League Baseball are tall enough to play in the NBA. Really.
Baseball isn’t a sport dominated by height. It’s one dominated by powerful hitters and crafty pitchers. It’s more of a skill game rather than size although yes, size does help in the majors. But unlike basketball, height isn’t one of the top criteria in baseball. However, for these major-league players, their height was just a by-product of their skills.
Here are the tallest players in the history of Major League Baseball:
John Rauch 6-11
Relief pitcher John Rauch owns the distinction of being the tallest player in the history of major league baseball. Rauch stood at 6-11 and towered over everybody in the bullpen. He ended up pitching for six different teams during an 11-year career which lasted until 2013. Rauch pitched in over 500 games and had a record of 43-40. He was a member of the U.S. men’s baseball team that won the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics. He earned notoriety in 2012 when he and then New York Mets rookie Matt Harvey almost came to blows after Rauch poured water on a napping Harvey. The Mets released Rauch at the end of that season.
Eric Hillman 6-10
Eric Hillman played three seasons for the New York Mets back in 1992 to 1994, earning a record of 4-14 with an ERA of 4.85. After his MLB career, he played in Japan for the NPB from 1995 to 1998. In his first season in Japan, he posted a record of 12-9 and earned the First Nine Award. The following season, Hillman was named as MVP of the 1996 All-Star Game. A year later, the Yomiuri Giants purchased his contract, hoping that he would lead them to the title. However, Hillman spent much time on the disabled list due to shoulder pain. He was released in 1998.
Randy Johnson 6-10
No question is the best among the tallest players in Major League Baseball history. Randy Johnson was dubbed as the Big Unit and rightfully so. The Big Unit played primarily for the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks in a career that lasted 22 seasons and six teams. His 303 career victories rank fifth all-time among left-handed pitchers while his 4,875 strikeouts rank 2nd to Nolan Ryan among lefties. Johnson won the Cy Young Award five times and only Roger Clemens has more with seven. He is one of seven pitchers in the history of the MLB to throw both a no-hitter and a perfect game. Johnson is also the oldest pitcher to ever pitch a perfect game. He topped his Hall of Fame career with the World Series title and MVP in 2001 before retiring in 2009.
Chris Young 6-10
Chris Young played basketball and baseball at Princeton but he ended up playing pro baseball. Young made his Major League debut on August 24, 2004, with the Texas Rangers but also played for four other MLB clubs. Young was voted to the All-Star team in 2007 and earned a World Series title with the Kansas City Royals in 2015. Young pitched in Game 1 of the World Series and got the win after closing out the final three innings with one walk, four strikeouts without a hit. After an injury put him back in the minors in 2013, Young was MLB’s Comeback Player of the Year winner in 2014.
Andrew Sisco 6-10
Andrew Sisco was the Chicago Cubs’ 2nd round pick of the 2001 MLB draft and played for the Northwest League. In 2004, the Kansas City Royals made him the second pick in the 2004 Rule 5 draft and converted him to a relief pitcher. After playing for the White Sox, Athletics, Giants, Yankees and Dodgers, Sisco pitched for the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan.
Andrew Brackman 6-10
Andrew Brackman was the 30th overall pick of the 2007 Major League draft by the New York Yankees. He signed a four-year deal worth $4.55M with a signing bonus of $3.35M. However, he ended up pitching just a total of three games during his major league career. But this isn’t about careers, this is about height and Brackman was listed at 6-10 and 230 pounds. Brackman attended North Carolina State University where he also played center on the basketball team. During his freshman year, he averaged 7.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while posting a 4-0 record with an ERA of 2.09 in 10 appearances.
Mark Hendrikson 6-9
Mark Hendrickson is one of only 13 players to ever play in both MLB and the NBA. He was drafted several times in the MLB Draft-before college by the Braves in 1992 and during college by the Padres in 1993, Atlanta again in 1994, Detroit in 1995 finally Texas in 1996. After graduations, Hendrickson was also picked by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1996 NBA draft and once again by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997. He played 29 games for the Sixers in 1997 before transitioning to baseball and finally making his MLB debut with the Blue Jays in 2004.
Richie Sexson 6-8
Finally, a non-pitcher on our list. Richie Sexson played the first baseman for five MLB teams from 1997 to 2008. Sexson was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 23rd round of the 1993 draft. He had his breakout season in 1999 when he had 31 home runs and 116 RBIs for the Indians. After being traded to the Brewers, he made the All-Star team in 2002 and 2003.
Tyler Glasnow 6-8
Tyler Glasnow is the tallest player in the Majors today. At 6-8, he was the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 9th round pick in the 2011 draft. He made his Major League debut in on July 7, 2016. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018 and posted an ERA of 4.20 in 11 starts with the Rays. He started the 2019 season with a 5-0 record and was AL pitcher of the month for April before being sent to the IL with an arm strain.
Logan Ondrusek 6-8
Logan Ondrusek was the 13th round pick of the 2005 MLB draft by the Cincinnati Reds. After throwing 10 scoreless innings during the 2010 Spring Training, he finally made the Reds’ roster. However, after an ERA of 11.12 in nine appearances, he was sent back to the minors. He returned to pitch in Game 2 of the 2010 NLDS against the Phillies. After his stint with the Reds, he played for Japan’s Tokyo Yakult Swallows in the Nippon Professional Baseball league. He returned one season for the Orioles in 2016 and is now pitching in the minors for the Washington Nationals.