“Big Daddy” Cecil Fielder was for a brief time one of the best home run hitters in baseball. Playing at the old Tiger Stadium for more than half of his career, we got to see a lot of upper deck shots launched at the classic ballpark. He may have only played in 13 big league seasons however he did give us some great moments. Here are five statistical facts about the slugger.
The best years of Fielder’s career came from 1990-1992. Fielder led the league in home runs in 1990 and 1991 with 51 and 44 as well as RBIs in 1990-1992 with 132, 133, and 124. In 1990 and 1991 he finished second in the MVP voting. Rickey Henderson stole away the award in 1990 and Cal Ripken Jr. outplayed Fielder in 1991.
The fact that Fielder ever stole a base is impressive enough. Even better, he swiped the only pair of bases he ever successfully stole in the same year. This happened in 1996 while with the Detroit Tigers before he was traded to the New York Yankees.
Hurting the Toronto Blue Jays
Many of us forget Fielder actually made his debut with the Toronto Blue Jays and played there for several seasons before going to Japan then coming back to America with the Tigers where he had his monster seasons. Fielder apparently never forgave the Blue Jays for not keeping him as he crushed two of their pitchers. Pat Hentgen and Jimmy Key gave up a combined 15 home runs to Fielder. Fielder also had a .360 batting average off of Hentgen and a .333 one against Key.
Lack of Doubles
We can blame Fielder’s lack of speed for how few doubles he had in his career. Fielder’s season high was only 25 which he had in 1990 and 1991. Based on this his power appears very one-dimensional. Fielder simply had no gap power or if he did, he spent a little too much time admiring the shot to ever get to second base on time.
Hot in June
By far the best months Fielder had in his career was June. He hit 68 home runs in the month, had 227 RBIs, and had a .280 batting average. All of these are higher than any other page on the calendar. In fact, May is the only other month in the year where Fielder had a batting average over .250; hitting .260 that month.