When The Mag started kicking around ideas for the Body Issue, we all took it for granted that pro athletes’ bodies had changed for the bigger over the years. But Insider wanted to know exactly how the average jock was different now from when their sport went pro. So we looked at mounds of raw data (courtesy of Gary Gillette and Pete Palmer, editors of the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia and ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia) for the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB - thousands of players from all-stars to one-and-dones. What’d we find?
- The average MLBer is five inches taller than when the league started
- The NFL far outpaces the other leagues in pounds-per-inch gains
- NBA centers have leveled out in size since the mid-90s
Sign in or sign up to experience Insider’s interactive timeline on the evolution of the professional athlete’s body.