Shohei Baba (Giant)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height listed from 6' 6" to 6' 10" depending on source, Weight 187 lb. (significantly higher after his baseball career ended)
- High School Sanjo Jitsugyo High School
At the age of 17, Shohei Baba dropped out of high school to join the Yomiuri Giants. In ni-gun, he was 12-1 in 1956 and was named the Eastern League pitcher of the year. The next season, he won 13 more games and pitched three games with Yomiuri, going 0-1 with a 1.29 ERA. His only decision was on October 23; the winning pitcher was Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame hurler Shigeru Sugishita, who won his 200th victory that day. In 1958, he had brain surgery to remove a mass and two years later, he fell while exiting the bathtub and trashed his pitching hand.
After his baseball career ended, Baba became a very successful professional wrestler and was known as Giant Baba. He was still wrestling in his 60s. He died in 1999 of intestinal cancer; he had been known as a smoker for many years prior to his death.
There is controversy about whether Baba was the tallest player in NPB history. He is usually listed as 208 cm, which would tie him with Eric Hillman or 209 cm, which would make him the tallest without question. Wikipedia lists him at 203 cm as do some other sources. The official NPB publications list him at 200 cm