The Texas Rangers announced that there will be a press conference to take place Wednesday, in which Prince Fielder will announce the end of his career.
With Prince Fielder’s career coming to an end, one can’t help but wonder what his career numbers look like when compared to his father; Cecil Fielder. There have been many published reports in the past, stating that the Fielders have repaired a relationship that was damaged by Cecil Fielder’s misuse of his son’s money. Often times in life, parents want their children to be even more successful and accomplish even more than they ever did on their own. In this case, how did Prince Fielder stack up to his father’s legacy?
Both men seem cut from the same cloth. To see pictures of them, side-by-side, there’s no doubting that they are father and son. It’s easy to find the video of a young Prince standing at home plate in Tiger Stadium, mashing the ball into the stands. As he grew up, he would most certainly grow out of his father’s shadow.
It was Cecil, the “Big Daddy”, who finished with one more year (13) than Prince. Other than that, though, the son outshines his father. Cecil Fielder hit a respectable 200 doubles; for a larger-set man in the 90’s, that’s not bad. But Prince hit over a third more than him; hitting 321 doubles! Prince Fielder is not a small man, by any means, but for a man of his stature, he was shockingly agile. Also, in terms of being able to motor around the base-paths, the amount of triples each man hit in their careers was quite similar. Cecil Fielder had seven, Prince beat him out by three, with 10.
When it comes to absolute, pure hitting, Prince Fielder really pulled away from what his father was able to do. Cecil Fielder hit a respectable .255 career batting average, but Prince out-hit him with a .283 average! Also, for Cecil Fielder’s reputation of being a heavy-hitter, who was there to mash the ball, Prince also had a higher slugging percentage, out-slugging his pops with a SLG. of .506, compared to Cecil’s .485 SLG.
What is truly remarkable, and a little ironic, is that both men will have ended their careers with 319 home runs. This statistic is the comparison that is most hampered by Prince Fielder’s injuries, since even if he finished out this year, one would expect him to be able to hit at least one more home run. Both men started their careers at age 21; Cecil Fielder ended his career at age 34, Prince Fielder ends his career at a young 32 years old.
Six-time All-Star, Prince Fielder, only played for three teams in his career; the team that he will be best remembered for is his time as a Milwaukee Brewer. There were four times in his career where Prince Fielder played 162 games, and five other seasons where he was within five games of a complete season. Unfortunately for Prince Fielder, the ending of his career represents a fall from grace.
Amid his response to his performance in the 2013 playoffs, and just repeating over and over that he “just has kids, man,” he was eventually traded to the Texas Rangers. That was the beginning of the end for Prince Fielder. 2014 was a down year for Prince, and he was plagued with his first major neck injury. His season was cut short after only 42 games. In 2015, he had a major bounce-back year. He played in 158 games, had 23 home runs, and made the All-Star team for the American League. Thing for Prince Fielder looked promising. This year, though, his season (and career) is cut short after 89 games due to another neck issue. While he was considered one of the premier first baseman in the National League during his time as a Brewer, and although he was considered one of the most powerful one-two punches batting behind Miguel Cabrera in Detroit, he was never able to win a World Series.
Prince Fielder had a respectable career, perhaps even more so than his father’s, but that’s where the line is drawn. While he will be credited for his work ethic, his ability to hit the ball hard, and his determination to play as close to 162 games a year as he could, he will not be thought of as a Hall of Fame player. But neither was his dad.