The story behind Prince Fielder isn’t unlike that of a tall tale. A larger than life kid, son of a larger than life baseball player, toting around a gargantuan piece of lumber, launching home runs into different Detroit zip codes. It’s the sort of thing that, after Prince (he even has a majestic name) is dead and gone, people will still talk about, embellishing it even more. He’s two shakes away from owning an ox the size of Mount Rushmore.
Now that Fielder isn’t a prepubescent phenom, and his fable has transformed into non-fiction, Tiger fans have that glossed over “I just had Thanksgiving dinner” smile on their faces; perfectly content. Fielder isn’t complaining, either, as he always looks like he’s just had a turkey (or two)…oh, and he’s got $214 mil. stuffed under his kids’ race car beds.
Every folk tale also needs a villain, or a trickster, and in this case it’s Prince’s father, Cecil. Reportedly it’s a broken, if not completely nonexistent relationship between the two. Cecil, as told by Prince, was a terrible father. I’m sure if you ask Cecil, he will tell a different story (“Hey, what other kid got to take batting practice with Sweet Lou?”). Either way, Prince seems on a mission to stick it to his old man, with his words and his play on the field.
Since being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers with the seventh overall pick in the 2002 Amateur Draft, Fielder has quickly added to this most unbelievable story. In 2007, arguably his best and most valuable (fantasy) season, he lead the league in HR (50; youngest ever to reach half-century mark) and was second in slugging percentage (.618), AB/HR (11.5), and OPS (1.013).
After switching teams and leagues before the beginning of last season, Prince continued to put up legendary numbers, even in a bigger park against unfamiliar pitchers. He finished 2012 with a career best .313 BA, along with 30 HR, making him one of the few first basemen who can hit for both average and power.
This mythical player has become a top tier first baseman and a top-15 overall fantasy talent. But that doesn’t seem to be enough for Prince. Probably because he’s still mentioned in the same breath as his arch nemesis, Cecil.
“I don’t mind people comparing me to him but I’m a completely different player,” Prince says. “One day I want people to mention my name and not have to mention his.”
Prince wants to completely eclipse his father from existence.
Fantasy owners should all want blood thirsty, revenge hungry mythical beasts on their teams.