Everyone knows baseball players aren’t always the leanest of athletes. Bellies aren’t an uncommon sight, as David Wells, Bartolo Colon and CC Sabathia have shown us. Guts don’t stop players from being the best of the best either.
Ben Ancheff is evidence of that. He took the internet by storm after he became a viral sensation after his appearance for St. Thomas University in the 2015 NAIA College World Series. Ancheff, the 300-pound pitcher that blew up on social media, was a tremendous athlete for his size, playing baseball, football, and wrestling in high school.
Watching Ancheff fire heaters right by batters was an absolute treat and a sight to behold. It makes you wonder why more dudes of his size aren’t on the diamond.
Ben Ancheff’s Viral Fame
According to The Patriot-News he’s “lucky” to have the athletic gifts he has because he’s lucky to even be alive. He was born prematurely — despite weighing 8.5 pounds — and didn’t have the heart or lung strength he needed as a baby. Ancheff was given an experimental treatment back in 1992 that kept him alive.
“I was a test,” said Ancheff. “Basically, they told my mom and dad that I’d be dead in a matter of minutes if we don’t try this. They said to try anything to save him. It worked out.
“I’m very fortunate for the doctors over at Hershey Medical Center who saved me. I could never thank them enough for how successful I am. I’ve never had any complications. I’m just lucky. My heart rate’s perfect, like 52, and that’s actually slow. A big guy usually has a higher heart rate.Advertisement
“I’m just lucky.”
Ancheff’s story is a great one, but one that almost didn’t happen. We’re glad he was able to thrive as he has because watching him do his thing on the mound is quite the entertaining sight.
Ancheff Even Worked For MLB
To make this news even better, Ancheff made the Major Leagues. Well, sort of.
He had his sights set on pitching on the mound, but he settled for working at Major League Baseball’s Advanced Media headquarters in New York City as a replay administrator. Per PennLive.com, he worked there as recently as 2018. He now works as the Williams Valley High School athletic director in Williamstown, Pennsylvania, per his Twitter.
“It’s 4-5 days a week and days can be long depending on how many replays or umpire challenges come through,” Ancheff told PennLive.com of his MLB gig.
“There’s some time-sensitive and crucial information to distribute.”
Ancheff was destined for the majors, proving size doesn’t matter.