I feel like @TigersHistory this morning with the Tigers related picture I’ve posted today but I can’t help but also share this one. Cecil Fielder walking on the Tiger Stadium roof to have a cigar and hit batting practice ;). pic.twitter.com/6OMNLYpzah
— BaseballHistoryNut (@nut_history) October 17, 2020
In the first four seasons of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays, Fielder failed to find any success.
Because of this, he opted to play in Japan for the 1989 season.
While there, he hit 38 home runs in just 106 games, also hitting at a .302 batting average.
This prompted a return to the MLB with a two-year, $3 million contract to bring him back to the United States.
Here, he evolved himself into the league’s best power hitters.
Now, looking back on his career, fans can recognize Fielder as a big-time source of power just before the steroid era ballooned home runs.
A Source of Power
In the 1990 season, Fielder led the MLB with 51 home runs and 132 RBIs.
It was the first time since 1977 that a player hit at least 50 home runs in a season.
This carried him to a runner-up award in the MVP voting, along with an All-Star appearance.
He was especially known for making the classic Tiger Stadium look like a little league field, blasting balls out of the entire stadium.
On This Date 08/25/1990: Cecil Fielder hit this blast that went over the roof at Tiger Stadium.
It was his second HR of the game, his 41st HR of the 1990 season and he would finish with an MLB-leading 51 HR.#Tigers won 14-4.@TigersHistory @1990sBaseballhttps://t.co/mwnUJulJmB pic.twitter.com/CH3rRtu3JB
— Brad Badini ⚾️ (@celeBRADtion) August 25, 2018
This was in his first, full-time season in the league.
He followed this up with another season where he led the league in home runs and RBIs, with 44 and 133 respectively.
Easy to forget how amazing Cecil Fielder was back in 1991. pic.twitter.com/3i3ReSH1JD
— Jeff Pearlman (@jeffpearlman) December 14, 2020
Once again, this gave him another runner-up in the MVP voting.
While this was the peak of his career, he continued putting up consistent power numbers over the next eight seasons.
From 1992-1995, the fewest home runs Fielder hit was 28 which came in the strike-shortened 1994 season.
The Yankees’ Difference Maker
In 1996, the Tigers elected to trade Fielder to the New York Yankees as they were in contention to make a playoff run.
This move would ultimately pay off for the Yankees.
In 53 games with the Yankees, Fielder slugged 13 home runs.
He carried this into the postseason as well, as he hit .391 in the 1996 World Series.
— MLBDailyDingers (@MLBDailyDingers) November 16, 2020
Because of this performance, he earned The Babe Ruth Award as the World Series’ Most Valuable Player.
After this season, Fielder entered the twilight of his career.
He played less than 100 games with the Yankees in 1997 and then had 17 home runs in 117 games in 1998.
After that season, he retired from baseball, leaving a legacy of power behind.
The Fielder Namesake Continued
Many younger baseball fans will likely recognize the Fielder name, but not for Cecil.
His son Prince, who would rip home runs in batting practice with his father while he was on the Tigers in 1996, become an MLB star himself.
12 year old Prince Fielder taking BP with Terry Francona. ⚾️🔥 pic.twitter.com/IJPymgISlD
— Hardball Highlights™ (@BSBVAULT) December 9, 2018
He was a very similar player to his father.
While Prince was a left-handed hitter, both had major power.
However, Prince was never able to hit more than 51 home runs in a season as his father did, making it to just 50 in 2007.
The two became the first and only father-son duo with 50 home run seasons in MLB history.
Unfortunately, Prince’s career was cut short in 2016 due to a neck injury.
A very interesting fact is that the two finished with the same career home run total of 319.
When looking back on Cecil’s career, it becomes clear how dangerous of a power hitter he was at the plate.
While he didn’t have much longevity in the league, he made a big impact with the stats he put up in that short time.