The contestants on the upcoming season of ABC’s “Extreme Weight Loss” have many reasons for wanting to lose weight, but 19-year-old Ty Ash’s is unique: The 480-pound baseball phenomenon wants to get down to 300 pounds to play professionally.
Ash joins a long tradition of baseball players, boxers, and especially football players who haven’t let obesity keep them from thriving. ABC says agents and coaches have told him that the only thing standing between him and a professional contract is his weight.
Aside from sumo wrestlers and the WWE’s 7-foot, 425-pound The Big Show — wrestlers are in a weight class of their own — the heaviest modern-day athlete looks to be New York Giant defensive tackle Michael Jasper. NFL.com reports that his weight peaked at 448 pounds in 2011, but he is now listed at 375. Offensive tackle Terrell Brown, whom the St. Louis Rams signed as an undrafted free agent last year, weighed in at 403 pounds.
But those are football players, prized for size. Ash, of Oklahoma City, is trying to get down to the same weight as the Cincinnatti Reds’ Jonathan Broxton, who appears to be the heaviest current baseball player at 300 pounds. Broxton, like Ty, is 6’4.
But Broxton isn’t the heaviest player: SportingCharts.com says the Baltimore Orioles’ 6’5 Walter Charles, who last played in 2005, weighed 315.
Ash was 300 pounds by age 10, when he was nearly twice as big as everyone else on his baseball team. He is also the heaviest contestant on this season’s “Extreme Weight Loss,” which also features a former pageant queen, a former gymnast and cheerleader, and the first little person ever to appear on the show. She weighs 245 pounds.
“Extreme Weight Loss” is produced by Eyeworks USA. JD Roth, Todd A. Nelson, Matt Assmus and Brant Pinvidic are the executive producers.
The new season premieres Tuesday, May 27 at 8.7c on ABC.
Watch Ash at bat: