Who is the shortest MLB player in history and how do they compare to current stats?

Who is the shortest MLB player in history and how do they compare to current stats?

It is not the size of the man in the fight but the size of the fight in the man. These words ring true for the shortest MLB player in history. Further, even though there are so many quotes and analogies for short people, these short people in baseball history take a backseat to nobody.

shortest MLB player
Former St. Louis Cardinals player David Eckstein throws out a ceremonial first pitch before a game against the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo: Scott Kane
Source: Getty Images

Over the years, the shortest MLB players have defied the typical characteristics of star players. For example, while most MLB pitchers are the tallest athletes with a standard height of 6 feet and inches, others have surpassed this mark to be seven feet. However, the shortest player is as short as 3 feet and 7 inches.

Shortest MLB player

The ranking of MLB players by height has not been a major issue in the game's history. This has been because height does not matter and only becomes apparent when tall and short players stand next to each other. But, who is the shortest MLB player in history? Here is a list of the shortest MLB player in history.

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1. Eddie Gaedel - 3’ 7″

shortest MLB player
Eddie Gaedel in the pitch. Photo: @MLB
Source: UGC

While the tallest baseball player is 7 feet 1 inch tall, the shortest in history stands at the height of 3 feet and 7 inches. He was part of the St Louis Browns and the shortest MLB player to hit a home run.

Unfortunately, he had only one plate appearance on the team, with his contract being terminated on the next day. However, he took his spotlight fame and appeared on several television shows after that moment.

2. Bob Emmerich - 5’ 3″

Bob was one of the shortest MLB players in the game's history. He served as the centerfielder for the Boston Braves. Unfortunately, he did not have great stats with his entire career battling an average of 0.083.

3. Jess Cortazzo - 5’ 3″

shortest MLB player
Jess Cortazzo. Photo: @MLBPlayersMedia
Source: Twitter

Jess was one of the shortest playing standing at 5 feet and 3 inches. He only played one game for the Chicago White Sox and had one at-bat. Jess made his major league debut in 1923 but did not record a hit for his team.

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4. Stubby Magner - 5’ 3″

shortest MLB player
Stubby Magner. Photo: @MLB
Source: Twitter

While the average MLB height is 6 feet 1.5 inches, Stubby was one of the shortest MLB players with a height of 5 feet and 3 inches. In 1911, he played for the New York Highlanders even though he had a short career in the big leagues. He made his debut in summer 1911, also his final season. His career ended with a 0,212 average, 0 home runs and 4 RBIs.

5. Pompeyo Davalillo - 5’ 3″

shortest MLB player
Pompeyo Davalillo holding a ball. Photo: @MLB
Source: Twitter

Pompeyo is 5 feet 3 inches tall and played shortstop for the Washington Senators. As an MLB player, he hit .293, had 0 home runs, and two runs batted in. He made his MLB debut in August of 1953, which turned out to be his only month in the big leagues.

6. Lee Viau - 5’ 4″

Lee is one of the shortest MLB players and one with unmatched history. He won and lost more than 20 games in a single season. In 1889 while playing for the Cincinnati Red Stockings, Lee went 22-20 with an earn run average of 3.79. He completed his MLB career with 83 wins and 77 losses with a 3.33 ERA.

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7. Dinty Gearin - 5’ 4″

shortest MLB player
Dinty Gearin posing for the camera. Photo: @MLBPlayersMedia
Source: Twitter

Dinty was one of the shortest players with an impressive record. At 5 feet and 4 inches, he won 2 games and lost four. During his two year career with the New York Giants in 1923 and 1924, Dinty had an ERA of 3.74 and 52 innings pitched. In the majors, he pitched in 13 games.

8. Willie Keeler - 5’ 4″

shortest MLB player
Willie Keeler. Photo: @MLB
Source: Twitter

Willie was one of the shortest MLB players in history playing as a right fielder. He has a two-decade-long career starting in 1892 and ending in 1912. He had a 0.341 batting average, 33 home runs, and 810 runs batted in.

9. Walter James Vincent Maranville - 5’ 5″

shortest MLB player
Rabbit Maranville, Boston NL ca. 1914. Photo: HUM Images
Source: Getty Images

Walter was one of the shortest baseball players standing at 5 feet and 5 inches. He played for 22 years, from 1912 to 1934. Some of the teams he played for were the Boston Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Robins, and St Louis Cardinals.

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Overall, he completed his career with more than 2600 hits. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1954.

10. Gene Krapp - 5’ 5″

shortest MLB player
Gene Krapp, Buffalo Federal League ca. 1914. Photo: HUM Images
Source: Getty Images

Gene is one of the shortest MLB players with 5 feet and 5 inches. He played in major leagues for four years between 1911 and 1915. He has a win-loss of 40-47 with a 3.23 ERA. During the four years, he played for the Cleveland Naps and Buffalo Blues.

11. Freddie Patek - 5’ 5″

shortest MLB player
Freddie Patek in action against the New York Yankees during a major League Baseball game circa 1979 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo: Focus on Sport
Source: Getty Images

Freddie stands at 5 feet 5 inches making him one of the shortest players in the MLB. Even though he played for several teams, he spent most of his career with the Kansas City Royals.

During the 1977 season, he led his team with 53 stolen bases. Thanks to his accomplishments in the Kansas City Royals, he was inducted into the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame in 1992.

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12. David Eckstein - 5’ 6″

shortest MLB player
David Eckstein of the St. Louis Cardinals in action against the Washington Nationals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo. Photo: G. N. Lowrance
Source: Getty Images

David was a shortstop in the Major leagues standing at 5 feet and 6 inches. Despite being one of the shortest players, he was a two-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion. He earned his first World Series with the Angeles in 2002, while earned his second with the St Louis Cardinals in 2006.

13. Jose Altuve - 5’ 6″

shortest MLB player
Jose Altuve reacts after striking out against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning in Game Six of the World Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. Photo: Elsa
Source: Getty Images

How tall is Jose Altuve? Altuve's height is 5 feet and 6 inches. Despite being one of the shortest MLB players, he is one of the best in the game, as seen in all the accomplishments in his name. They include:

  • Multiple All-Star Game appearances
  • The 2017 MVP award
  • The 2017 World Series win for his team

In addition, he has 13 home runs in the postseason.

14. Bobby Shantz - 5’ 6″

shortest MLB player
Pottstown native Bobby Shantz, the 1952 American League MVP for the Philadelphia Athletics, smiles before throwing the first pitch for a baseball game at Pottstown High School. Photo: Natalie Kolb
Source: Getty Images

Bobby is 5 feet 6 inches tall, one of the shortest MLB players and one of the best pitchers. Although he appeared in 16 seasons, 1952 was his best, where he bagged a 24-7 win with an ERA of 2.48. Overall, his career statistics were 119-99, with an ERA of 3.38.

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15. Phil Rizzuto - 5’ 6″

shortest MLB player
Phil Rizzuto preparing to throw the ball. Photo: Bettmann
Source: Getty Images

Commonly known as The Scooter, Phillip Francis Rizzuto was a shortstop for the New York Yankees. He was an electric competitor both in the bat and defence. He was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994. Some of his other accomplishments were:

  • He was part of seven World Series Championships
  • Ten AL East Titles
  • Winner of the AL MVP award in 1950

16. Lewis Robert Wilson - 5’ 6″

shortest MLB player
Hack Wilson, outfielder of the Chicago Cubs, at bat, circa 1925. Photo: The Stanley Weston Archive
Source: Getty Images

Lewis is one of the shortest yet best MLB players. During the 1930 season, he hit 56 home runs and nearly 200 RBIs in a single season. Due to his tremendous strength, he was nicknamed Hack Wilson. Lewis was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.

17. Joe Sewell - 5’ 6″

shortest MLB player
Joseph W. (Joe) Sewell of the Cleveland Indians throwing a ball in 1922. Photo: Sporting News and Rogers
Source: Getty Images

Joe Sewell was an MLB player for the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees. Standing at the height of 5 feet and 6 inches, he was the second-lowest career strikeout rate in MLB history. In 1932, Joe only struck out three times, which is the single-season record.

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18. Miller Huggins - 5’ 6″

shortest MLB player
A portrait of Miller Huggins. Photo: Bettmann
Source: UGC

Due to his height of 5 feet and 6 inches, Miller earned some pretty funny nicknames such as Little Everywhere and Mighty Mite. Regardless of these monikers, he was one of the best competitors for the Cincinnati Reds (1904 to 1909) and St Louis Cardinal (1910 to 1916). He completed his MLB career with a 0.265 batting average, nine home runs, and 324 stolen bases.

19. Billy Hamilton - 5’ 6″

shortest MLB player
Billy Hamilton makes a diving catch of a line drive at Great American Ball Park on June 8, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. St. Louis defeated Cincinnati 12-7. Photo: Jamie Sabau
Source: Getty Images

Standing at 5 feet and 6 inches, Billy holds the record for driving in the most runs. Billy had a 344 career batting average, 40 home runs, and 912 stolen bases during his career. Billy played for Kansas City Cowboys, Philadelphia Phillies, and Boston Beaneaters.

20. Tony Kemp - 5’ 6″

shortest MLB player
Tony Kemp jogs to the dugout during the game against the Houston Astros at RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, California. Photo: Lachlan Cunningham
Source: Getty Images

Tony is an outfielder for the Oakland Athletics baseball team and one of the shortest players with a height of 5 feet and 6 inches. During his rookie year in 2016, Tony batted an average of 0.217, one home run and drove in seven runs batted in. Tony's career statistics in Major League Baseball come out to a .233 batting average, 15 home runs, and 70 runs batted in.

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Baseball is a beautiful sport because it doesn’t discriminate – you can either hit a fastball or you can’t. Fans have witnessed competitors of all shapes and sizes succeed at baseball’s highest level. Therefore, the shortest MLB players in history have been equally successful as their tallest counterparts.

Yen.com.gh shared an interesting article about the tallest NBA players. Height is an advantage in the NBA because it helps the players defend the ball and reach the opponent's basketball goal. Furthermore, height accompanies other crucial features in a sportsman, including hand span and arm reach.

The tallest NBA players of all time have had heights of over seven feet. The notable ones are Gheorghe Muresan (2.31 meters), Manute Bol (2.31 meters), Tacko Fall (2.29 meters), Slavko Vraneš (2.29 meters), Shawn Bradley (2.29 meters), Yao Ming (2.29 meters), and Chuck Nevitt (2.26 meters).

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Source: YEN.com.gh

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