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By Scott Barancik, editor

Eye color is not the first thing one notices about Oakland A’s rookie Nate Freiman. Does he part his hair on the left, or the right? No clue.

The first thing every teammate, scout, agent, sportswriter, and fan observes about Freiman (pronounced ‘FRY-men’) is his height. The 26-year-old first baseman stands 6-foot-8-inches above street level, unusually tall for a pro baseball player, and even more so for a non-pitcher.

Nate Freiman exchanging high-fives with teammates (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America)

How unusual, exactly? Jewish Baseball News conducted a search of all non-pitchers who’ve played Major League ball since 1901. And here’s what we found: Nate Freiman isn’t just “tall.” The man dubbed “Green Giant” by one wag is the tallest in baseball history, tied with retired first baseman Tony Parker.

Here’s a table showing the 10 biggest position players in MLB history. Interestingly, two of the 10 are brothers, and the highest career batting average among them is a modest .273.

Rk Player Ht From To BA SLG Tm
1 Nate Freiman 80 2013 2013 .273 .404 OAK
2 Tony Clark 80 1995 2009 .262 .485 DET-BOS-NYM-NYY-TOT-ARI
3 Joel Guzman 79 2006 2007 .232 .321 LAD-TBD
4 Damon Minor 79 2000 2004 .232 .400 SFG
5 Ryan Minor 79 1998 2001 .177 .259 BAL-MON
6 Billy Ashley 79 1992 1998 .233 .409 LAD-BOS
7 Desi Wilson 79 1996 1996 .271 .339 SFG
8 Frank Howard 79 1958 1973 .273 .499 LAD-WSA-TOT-DET
9 Walt Bond 79 1960 1967 .256 .410 CLE-HOU-MIN
10 Ron Jackson 79 1954 1960 .245 .395 CHW-BOS
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/23/2013.

Why does it matter? It doesn’t, really. And odds are, Freiman would like to go down in baseball history for more than a genetic gift. Hopefully he will.

But baseball is a statistics-mad sport. As long as we find it necessary to cite the obvious fact of Freiman’s height, let’s call him the tallest, not just “tall.”

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