A Matter of Size; Building the Elite Athlete; Scientific American Presents; by Rob Neyer; 2 Page(s)
Track and field athletes aren't the only ones who continually push the physical limits of their sports. Although some curmudgeons might still try to argue that athletes in baseball and football aren't better than their forebears, it's pointless to suggest that they're not more physically gifted. Today's competitors aren't only bigger than ever, they're stronger and faster-and this development goes a long way toward accounting for the surge in record breaking in these games.
In the 1960s the best players in baseball were arguably Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, and in fact those two are now generally regarded as the greatest living ballplayers. Aaron, of course, finished his career with more home runs than any player in Major League Baseball history; Mays is number three on the list, behind only Aaron and Babe Ruth. Hank Aaron stood six feet tall and weighed 180 pounds. Willie Mays measured 5' 11'' and also weighed a modest 180 pounds.