Although the World Baseball Classic has never really caught on the way many would probably like, it still provides a ton of entertainment and value (not to mention hilarious highlights).
Like today, for example, most of us were introduced to the tallest player ever to play the game (probably), Loek Van Mil:
Van Mil stands 7-foot-1, making him two inches taller than the tallest player ever to make it to the Major Leagues (Joe Rauch 6’11”). Van Mill never made it to the show himself, but he did spend time in the Minor League organizations of the Twins, Angels, Indians and Reds.
And here he is warming up with a weighted baseball before a game:
In 2008, Chris Etheridge wrote about the twenty-two inch difference between Van Mil (7’1″) and then teammate Chris Cates (5’3″), in an article that includes the rest of this photo from Dan Lassiter:
Aside from Rauch, there were a handful of players standing 6’10” in the Major Leagues – including Randy Johnson – but none ever broke the 7 foot mark.
And Jose Altuve, for what it’s worth, is the shortest active player in Major League Baseball today, standing at 5’6″.