Saturday, August 16, 2008
#618 Cecil Fielder
Why this card is awesome: Because of two things. Firstly, I love those houses in the background. Secondly, this was a forgotten card from the 1988 set. Fielder didn't play much in 1988 and then was sold to a Japanese team after the season. For all intents and purposes, he was gone from major league baseball (at least in North America.) After a year away in Japan, Fielder reappeared in MLB with the Tigers and swatted 51 homers. See below for more on this.
Fielder pronounces his first name as a rhyme with "vessel," hence the nickname "Cecil the Vessel." Most other players with the name Cecil, such as Cecil Cooper, pronounce it more like a rhyme with diesel.
Cool stat: Fans today don't necessarily appreciate just how monster Fielder's 1991 season was. If you look at 50-homer seasons by year, you first notice that it happens all the time these days, a total of 12 times in the 2000's. But look down at #24, that was Fielder's 51-homer season. Prior to that, it had been 13 years since anybody did it, going all the way back to George Foster's 1977. For a time there in the 1980s, it seemed like it might never happen again. And then Big Daddy busted on the scene and blew everybody away. (Incidentally, if you live under a rock, note that #2 on that list is Fielder's estranged son, Prince.)