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Notable Men of Size: Bartolo Colón

Bartolo Colón loses his hat
Photo: Adam Hunger – USA Today Sports

In our third installment of Notable Men of Size, we’re featuring a man who is still alive and kicking! It takes a special sort of person to follow Teddy Roosevelt and The Notorious B.I.G., but he’s up for the task. Who is this man, you ask? It’s none other than “Big Sexy” himself, New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colón.

Bartolo Colón’s Humble Beginnings

In the sports world, Bartolo’s reputation precedes him. However, non-sports fans may not be familiar with how much the baseball star had to go through just to make it. Growing up in the town of Altamira in the Dominican Republic, Colón and his family lived in a house with no electricity, indoor plumbing, or running water. On top of all that, young Bart had to work 12 hours a day picking beans with his father and siblings. Baseball is a way of life in the Dominican Republic, but getting the tools of the trade can be tough.

Bartolo, like many of his fellow countrymen, had to improvise. Unable to afford gloves and baseballs, Colón would substitute a tightly wound rag as a baseball and a milk carton for gloves. Even with such a huge barrier, he still made it to the Major Leagues! That’s perseverance.

Bartolo Colón
Photo: Arturo Padavila III

Big Time Baller

Big Bart is one of the most entertaining players in all of baseball, but he’s not just a sideshow. Bart can ball. He is currently second on the all-time list of wins by a Dominican pitcher, surpassing the great Pedro Martinez with 222. A flamethrower in his younger days, Big Bart would regularly throw 100 MPH balls. Though his speed decreased as the years went by, much like a fine wine, Colón’s technique has gotten better with age. In fact, he made history on Mother’s Day when he became the oldest player in MLB history to hit his first home run at the age of 43!

Light on His Feet

With an ample 5’11” 280lb frame, Bart is large and in charge. That doesn’t mean that he’s not nimble, however. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Just take a look at this sweet behind the back throw to gun a runner out at first. Need we say more?

Big Sexy

Big Bart has been the go-to nickname most of Colón’s career, but once he came back to the Big Apple to play for the New York Mets (my favorite team in the whole world), he would gain a new name from his teammates that caught on like wildfire. Big Sexy. Yes, I know this name is clearly rooted in light hearted derision, but Colón has spun the spurn into gold by taking the moniker and running with it. Word on the street is that Mr. Colón plans on trademarking the Big Sexy phrase with the intention of creating a clothing line. Baseball brawn and business smarts, that’s one hell of a combination.

Bartolo Colón has endeared himself to the baseball world. Even fans of opposing teams get a kick out of his antics, like losing his helmet due to some sizable swings.

Baseball fans love him. Bartolo Colón has shown people that baseball at its heart is still a game, and games should be fun.

Who would you like to see as our next Notable Man of Size? Tell us in the comments below.

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