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Happy Birthday Cecil Fielder

It is Prince Fielder's Daddy's 45 birthday today. I wonder if Prince is sending him a card? I've read that they aren't exactly close, some troubles because of Cecil's treatment of Prince's mother and a gambling problem of some sort. It is too bad, Cecil was a similar player to Prince, both big slugger types. Prince is the better player but Cecil wasn't bad himself.

The Jays got Cecil in trade with the Royals for Leon Roberts, but unfortunately for Cecil he came up about the same time as Fred McGriff and Fred was clearly the better player. The Jays also had a number of DH types at the time so Cecil got in a few games in 85 and 86 and then was the platoon DH in 87 and 88.

He had his good year with the Jays in 1987 batting .269/.345/.560 in 175 at bats over 82 games. He hit 14 home runs that season. Then in 1988, in about the same number of at bats, he hit .230/.289/.431 with 9 homers. Seeing that he wasn't going to get playing time with the Jays Cecil signed with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan and played there for a year before signing as a free agent with the Detroit Tigers.

He had his best seasons with the Tigers hitting 284 home runs with them over the next 7 seasons. 1990, his first season with the Tigers he hit 51 home runs and came in second in the MVP vote. He also came in second the next season when he hit 44 homers.

From Detroit he went to the Yankees for a couple of years then the Angels and Indians for his last season in the bigs at the age of 34. Saying he was a big man doesn't do him justice, he was pretty round, more or less the same build that Prince has.

He was never a high average hitter topping out at .277 in 1990, his career average was .255 but when he did hit he hit the ball a mile finishing with 319 homers in his career. He would take a walk when offered on and had a decent on base, but his job was to drive in runs and he did that well. He had 5 seasons of over 100 RBIs and from 1990 to 1993 drove in 132, 133, 124 and 117.

For the Jays, well he came up at the wrong time, he wasn't the player Fred McGriff was and his size and lack of conditioning didn't endear him to the team. But the Tigers could over look that and his low average and got a heck of a player for 7 years.