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The Tallest, Shortest, Biggest, Smallest, Youngest, Oldest Athletes Playing Today

August 10, 2017

We’ve run several articles before about sports star standouts—the tallest, shortest, youngest, oldest, and more to ever play their respective sports. But that’s all in the past—who are some of the current subjects of trivial interest in the NBA, NFL, NHL, and Major League Baseball?

Tallest in the NBA

Three active NBA players are listed as having a height of 7’3.” Unsurprisingly, all of them play Center: Boban Marjanovic of the Detroit Pistons, Walter Tavares of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks.

Shortest in the NBA

Not to be confused with basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, this current Isaiah Thomas (who was named after the prior player of the same name when his father lost a bet) was the very last pick in the 2011 draft…but this Point Guard has since been named to the All-Star Team twice. This season, he led the Boston Celtics to a no. 1 seed in the playoffs, despite being the shortest player in the entire league, standing a relatively short 5’9”.

Oldest in the NBA

Vince Carter entered the NBA for the Toronto Raptors in the 1998-99 season, and soon after was named Rookie of the Year. He’s an eight-time All-Star and likely future Hall of Famer. While he hasn’t averaged more than 20 points a game since 2008-2009, Carter is still in the NBA playing for the Memphis Grizzlies at age 40.

Biggest in the NFL

The bigger a defensive tackle can be, the better they are for their team. The largest defensive linesman in the NFL is also the largest player currently in the NFL. Kansas City Chiefs nose tackle T.J. Barnes is an imposing 6’7” tall and weighs 364 pounds.

Oldest in the NFL

It’s the offseason, so he just might retire between now and the fall, but Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer is currently the oldest guy in the NFL. He was the #1 draft pick in 2003, won the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2015 after coming back from an injury, and last December he celebrated his 37th birthday. (He even briefly retired in 2010.)

Oldest in the NHL

Pro hockey players can last well into their 40s—the legendary Gordie Howe didn’t walk off the ice until he was 51. The current veteran of veterans in the NHL is Florida Panthers right winger Jaromir Jagr. He’s second on the all-time NHL points scored list, and racked up his 1,900th goal in February 2017—on his 45th birthday. Jagr played in his first NFL game in 1990—which was before more than half of his Panthers teammates were born.

Shortest in Major League Baseball

Not as tall as basketball players, but generally speaking, pro baseball players have nine players in baseball history have been listed as under 5’6”. Right now in the major leagues are three players right at that cutoff: Alexi Amarista of the Colorado Rockies, and teammates Jose Altuve and Tony Kemp of the Houston Astros.

Oldest in Major League Baseball

Most pro baseball players retire in their mid-to-late 30s, and their top earning days are behind them. Not Atlanta Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon. He won the Cy Young Award back in 2005 at the age of 32, which is getting up there for a hurler. In 2017, he signed a $12.5 million contract with the Braves. In late May, he’ll turn 44.

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