February 15, 2016
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — In the history of college baseball, it is rare to see 300-pound pitchers perform during games.
In covering college baseball since 1971, I only recall this happening twice.
The first was when future pro football Hall of Fame offensive lineman Anthony Munoz (6-foot-7, 300-pounds) pitched for the University of Southern California and also played football for the Trojans. He was a part of the USC’s 1978 national championship baseball team.
He was a pro baseball prospect who could throw 88-90 mph on the mound and could hit a baseball with incredible power. He once hit a ball over 500 feet during a game for Chaffey High School (Ontario, Calif.). But his career path was firmly entrenched in football.
Another fabulous big athlete is gracing college baseball today in RHP Ben Ancheff, a 6-foot-2, 300 pounder at St. Thomas University in Florida.
This mountain of a man earned 11 varsity letters at Williams Valley High School (Tower, PA) playing football, baseball and wrestling. In baseball, he topped out at 92 mph as a pitcher and was 9-0 with a 0.76 ERA his junior year and hit .420 from the left side as he also caught games.
He was a member of seven All-State teams in those three sports and was an All-American wrestler who rarely lost.
This amazing young man has faced his share of derogatory comments about his size throughout his life — some comments absolutely brutal. Opposing players have fired questionable comments in his direction to get under his skin. But that usually stops when he shows them he isn’t some side show on the mound and can actually pitch.
Fans in the stands are a different story.
To read more about how nasty opposing fans can be in their comments toward Ben Ancheff and how he nearly died at birth, order the Feb. 12, 2016 edition of Collegiate Baseball by CLICKING HERE.