It has been nearly 30 years since Randy Johnson, a.k.a. “The Big Unit,” took the pitching mound in the 1993 Major League Baseball All-Star game and faced John Kruk of the Phillies in an encounter that nobody who saw it will ever forget.

Back then, there was no intraleague play, and Johnson was representing the Seattle Mariners of the American League against Kruk, who played for the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League. Johnson’s pitches regularly flirted with 100 mph, and that was the first time Kruk had seen one of them.

Every single one of the 48,147 fans in attendance that night at Camden Yards in Baltimore will never forget it. And Kruk spoke about it for years afterward, saying he was gassed to face “The Big Unit” until he stepped into the batter’s box and saw how imposing Johnson was. Hey, tall pitchers who can bring it at 100 mph are a little intimidating, and Johnson was just one of many, although he was not the tallest MLB pitcher. Who was? Read on …

Who is the tallest player in the 2023 MLB season?

That honor belongs to Sean Hjelle of the San Francisco Giants, a 6-foot-11 right-handed relief pitcher who made nine appearances through the month of April this season and had a none-so-stellar 7.30 ERA. That means he qualifies for the MLB All-Tall team but will not be playing at this summer’s All-Star game in Seattle on July 11.

Who is the tallest MLB player ever?

The tallest MLB player ever was Ludovicus Jacobus Maria "Loek" van Mil at 7-foot-1. He pitched for the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Angels during his Major League career and represented the Netherlands at the 2007 World Baseball Classic. Born in Oss, Holland, he died at age 34 after a hiking accident in Australia.

Ranking the Top 10 Tallest players in MLB History

  1. Tony Clark, 6-foot-8

Position: First base
Years Active: 15
Teams: Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks

Now the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, Clark, a 6-foot-8 slugger, played for six teams in 15 seasons and hit .262 with 251 homers, 824 RBIs and an .824 OPS. He’s also the tallest switch-hitter in MLB history.

  1. Ryan Minor, 6-foot-7

Position: Third base
Years Active: 3
Teams: Baltimore Orioles, Montreal

Minor is best known as the player who replaced Cal Ripken Jr. in the Orioles’ starting lineup when Ripken ended his consecutive games-played streak at 2,632 on Sept. 20, 1998. He played four seasons in MLB -- three with the Baltimore Orioles and one with the Montreal Expos.

  1. Adam Wainwright, 6-foot-7

Position: Pitcher
Years Active: 17
Team: St. Louis Cardinals

The 41-year-old veteran has continued to pitch at a high level, despite being one of the only Major League Baseball players over 40 years old. Wainwright, who recently broke the record along with his longtime catcher, Yadier Molina, for most games played together as a pitcher/catcher, is currently on a rehab assignment for Triple-A Memphis. He is expected back with the Cardinals in early May.

  1. Jon Rauch, 6-foot-11

Position: Pitcher
Years Active: 11
Teams: Chicago White Sox, Montreal Expos, Washington Senators, Arizona Diamondbacks, Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, Miami Marlins

Rauch was the first player listed at 6-foot-11 or taller to appear in an MLB game, and he held that distinction alone for more than 20 years until Hjelle made his big league debut on May 6, 2022. Over 11 seasons, Rauch tallied 62 saves and recorded a 3.90 ERA while pitching for seven teams.

  1. Chris Young, 6-foot-10

Position: Pitcher
Years Active: 13
Teams: Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals

Young earned an All-Star nod with the San Diego Padres in 2007, the highlight of his 13-year career. He had a win-loss percentage of .541 with a career ERA of 3.95. Young is currently the general manager of the Texas Rangers.

  1. Mark Hendrickson, 6-foot-9

Position: Pitcher
Years Active: 10
Teams: Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, Baltimore Orioles

First drafted by an MLB team in 1992, Hendrickson opted to attend college instead. After playing both basketball and baseball at Washington State, he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996 and the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997. He played in the NBA from 1996-2000 until making the switch to MLB in 2002. He is one of 13 athletes to play in both leagues.

  1. Louis Giolito, 6-foot-6

Position: Pitcher
Years Active: 8
Teams: Washington Nationals, Chicago White Sox

The former first-round pick of the Washington Nationals in the 2012 MLB draft, Giolito is a vital component of the Chicago White Sox rotation. He pitched a no-hitter on August 25, 2020, and made his only All-Star team in the 2019 MLB season. During that year, Giolito posted career highs in wins with 14 and strikeouts with 228.

  1. Randy Johnson, 6-foot-10

Position: Pitcher
Years Active: 22
Teams: Montreal Expos, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants

Among the most intimidating pitchers ever, the left-hander Johnson collected 303 wins and 4,875 strikeouts -- second all-time behind Nolan Ryan -- and five Cy Young Awards en route to the Hall of Fame.

  1. Frank Howard, 6-foot-7

Position: Outfielder/First Base
Years Active: 16
Teams: Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Senators, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers

A right-handed slugger who won the 1960 NL Rookie of the Year Award and hit 382 homers over 16 seasons, Howard is the only 6-foot-7 player who went on the become a manager.

  1. Aaron Judge, 6-foot-7

Position: Center field
Years Active: 8
Team: New York Yankees

The Yankees center fielder, who broke the American League’s home run record last season, checks in at a worthy No. 1 and is one of the tallest MLB players in 2023. Judge, the most beloved Yankee since Derek Jeter, broke Roger Maris’ record last Oct. 3 with this:

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