It takes an elite kind of athlete to advance on the field of play while managing a major league appetite and the extra weight that goes with it. From David Wells to “Butterbean,” these athletes have reached levels on the field nearly as high as their caloric intake. Here's a comprehensive look at some of the fattest first-class athletes.
Eric “Butterbean” Esch
Known simply as “Butterbean,” Eric Esch is one of the great wonders of the sports world. He tips the scale at the same weight as an entire women’s college cross country team. He’s a Hummer of a boxer and mixed martial artist that has weighed in at 405.5 lbs. on fight night, but manages to be seasoned in all of the fight sports including wrestling, kickboxing, K-1, as well as toughman contests. Butterbean held the IBA boxing super heavyweight title on several occasions and knocked down former world champ Larry Holmes (then 52 years old) despite losing a 10-round decision on another. For all his many accomplishments, his most notable may have been when he nearly gave Johnny Knoxville a concussion in the middle of a department store in Jackass: The Movie.
Before he was analyzing the finer points of major league baseball on ESPN, John Kruk spent a good chunk of his playing career analyzing menus and dissecting steaks. Legend has it that during road games Kruk would reach deep for late game-winning home runs so he could get back to the hotel before room service closed.
William “The Refrigerator” Perry
The “Fridge” was one of the true giants of professional football and had the highest, albiet unconfirmed, playing weight of 382 lbs. during his days with the Chicago Bears, where he won a Super Bowl in 1986. It’s reported that his Super Bowl ring size, at a garganutan 25, is the largest of any player in the history of the game. Unfortunately “The Fridge” didn't experience the same level of success off the field. As of February 2011, he was dealing with drinking issues and, at 400 lbs., struggles with his weight and numerous other health problems.