Being tall and being a world-famous athlete are supposed to go hand-in-hand. If you said that to Lionel Messi or Jose Altuve, they would laugh and pat you on the back. At just five feet and seven inches and six inches respectively, both are at the peaks of their professions. Messi just starred for Argentina in the World Cup, and Altuve is coming off an MVP award and World Series Championship. After seeing the rest of the names on this list, your opinions on size might just change. Do you remember how tall Muggsy Bogues was?
Dustin Pedroia Was The Original Jose Altuve
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Before Jose Altuve became one of the faces of MLB, there was Dustin Pedroia. Since 2006, the former MVP has been manning second base for the Boston Red Sox. In 2007, he helped the team win the second World Series in 100 years. One season later he scored 118 runs and was named AL Most Valuable Player.
Standing a modest five feet and nine inches tall, Pedroia isn’t an intimidating figure on the diamond. When healthy he’s been one of the most dangerous though. Now in his mid-30s, his body is catching up to him after losing the 2018 season to the disabled list.
Jose Altuve Doesn’t Need To Be Tall To Be Great
Jose Altuve is listed at five feet and six inches, and he uses every bit of it to be the best MLB player possible. Coming off a World Series championship and an MVP award, Altuve is on pace to hit .329 and score 100 runs in 2018.
For his career, he’s a .318 batter, which isn’t surprising when you consider how small his strike zone must be. To reward the face of their franchise, the Astros signed their small star to a sizable $151 million contract extension. Who’s laughing at his height now? Next up, Lionel Messi uses his stature to get an edge on the competition.
Lionel Messi Has A Score To Settle With His Height
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In 2017, Lionel Messi signed a contract extension with FC Barcelona that included a $59 million signing bonus. According to the Forbes, Messi is making $667,000 a week. He’s also one of the shortest soccer players in the world, checking in at a generous five feet and seven inches tall.
Because he’s paid so much, Messi takes a fair share of criticism from Argentina’s national fans. When the team was eliminated in the first round of the World Cup’s knockout stage, Messi took most of the blame, despite an obvious lack of talent around him.
Doug Flutie Reinvented The Quarterback Position For The Short Man
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When Doug Flutie would set up under center before calling “hike,” he had to know how to analyze the defense. Once the ball was snapped and the play was going, it was impossible for him to see his wide receivers running routes with his massive lineman blocking his view.
At five feet and ten inches, Flutie was considered too short for his position. Forced to play in Canada to jump-start his career, he eventually found his way back into the NFL as the starter for the Buffalo Bills. He became so popular, he even got his own brand of “Flutie Flakes” cereal. Ahead, the answer to just how short Muggsy Bogues is.
Muggsy Bogues Was The Shortest NBA Player Ever
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Muggsy Bogues played in the NBA from 1987 until 2001. He began his career with the Washington Bullets, then moved on to the Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors, and finally the Toronto Raptors. If he had been taller than five feet and three inches, he might have been able to stay in one place.
Taken 12th overall by the Bullets in 1987, Bogues played alongside Manute Bole. Bole was a giant of a man, standing seven feet and seven inches tall. The height disparity is the greatest of teammates in NBA history. Since retiring from the NBA, Bogues has found his way into coaching.
Drew Brees Is The Greatest That Was Never Tall Enough
Drew Brees is the only player on this list to be six feet tall, but playing quarterback in the NFL, teams would still prefer he had a few more inches. Perhaps motivated to prove the doubters wrong, Brees has used his football IQ and deadly accuracy to become of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.
In 2013, Brees broke the record for passing yards in a season, gaining 5,477 yards through the air. He’s also the only quarterback in league history to have 12 straight seasons of passing for 4,000 or more yards. Not too shabby for a guy who can’t see over his offensive line. Coming up, learn how many dunk contests Nate Robinson stole from the competition.
Nate Robinson Won The Dunk Contest At 5’9″
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Nate Robinson had an incredible NBA career for a man his size. Coming off the bench for several seasons, he was the sparkplug that could start game-winning comebacks. He could also jump very high.
Before he retired, Robinson won three NBA Slam Dunk contests. Measuring in under six feet tall, he’s not supposed to be able to touch the rim when he jumps! For comparison’s sake, Stephen Curry is six feet and three inches tall and refuses to embarrass himself by even attempting to dunk.
Steve Smith Sr. Supplemented His Lack Of Size With Anger
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No one in NFL history played with more aggression from the wide receiver position than Steve Smith Sr. Wracking up over 14,000 yards for his career while averaging seven touchdowns a season isn’t easy when you’re only five feet and nine inches.
Smith Sr. would fight for every inch though. He may have looked like a house cat, but he played like a wild panther. By the time he hung up his pads, it was impossible to argue with his size, or his chances at being a first ballot Hall of Famer. Up next, Isaiah Thomas might be small, but he shows up big-time in the playoffs.
Isaiah Thomas Has Always Had To Battle Against His Height
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Isaiah Thomas became an NBA superstar with the Boston Celtics, nearly willing them into the NBA Finals in 2017. In one game against the Washington Wizards, he scored a jaw-dropping 53 points. For everything he did, Boston traded the five feet and nine inches tall Thomas to the Cavaliers.
This, sadly, has been the story of Thomas’ career. Despite putting up superstar type numbers, he’s never settled in with a team, always having to battle the negative perception of his height. It doesn’t help that he’s appeared selfish at times in the public eye.
David Eckstein Was Nicknamed “Just Enough”
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Listing David Eckstein as five feet and seven inches tall always seemed generous of the St. Louis Cardinals. During his career, the five-foot player was nicknamed “just enough,” because he was able to do everything despite his size.
In 2006, Eckstein was a key player in the St Louis Cardinals winning the World Series. It was his second World Series ring. His first came in 2002 with the Angels, where he helped spark a historic comeback against the San Francisco Giants. Eckstein finished his ten years MLB career in 2010 as a member of the San Diego Padres.