By Dan Bernstein —
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) If we accept the fact that Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is indeed 5-foot-6, it certainly makes him the shortest current player in MLB and unique modern winner of an MVP award. Dustin Pedroia seemed notable for his stature when he won the award in 2008, but he stands at a relatively towering 5-foot-9.
Altuve has tied the record for his sport, joining 1952 AL winner Bobby Shantz of the Philadelphia Athletics and the Yankees’ Phil Rizzutto in 1950 as 5-foot-6 players named as a league’s best.
Looking at all four major sports, we see Barry Sanders as the most vertically challenged NFL winner, with the 5-foot-8 jitterbug tying Brett Favre for the honor in 1997. Allen Iverson was always listed at 6-foot despite likely being at least an inch shorter, and he won the award in the 2000-’01 season.
Hockey fans will probably point to Hart Trophy winner Martin St. Louis, all of 5-foot-8 when he was so honored in 2003-’04, but a closer look at that list reveals someone unlikely to be, um … topped as the all-timer in this category.
Meet Roy “Shrimp” Worters, goaltender for the New York Americans. He was the shortest player in NHL history at 5-foot-3 and in 1928-’29 allowed just 1.15 goals per game to become the first goalie to win the Hart.