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Overweight baseball players giving hope to fat, unqualified men.

with 2 comments

In 1989, Cecil Fielder was unceremoniously shipped to the Japanese Central League’s Hanshin Tigers by Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays. The wiry 25-year-old hadn’t shown the promise he once had, only hitting in the mid-.200s with a handful of homeruns in parts of four seasons.

Given the chance to play everyday, Fielder mashed 38 homeruns that year. Almost overnight, he gained celebrity status, a chaffeur, and a nickname (“Wild Bear”). MLB’s Detroit Tigers took notice and signed the slugger during the offseason.

I failed to mention that during Fielder’s time in Japan he gained something else: weight.

And yes, that's Prince holding the ball.

But weight was the key to Fielder’s success. In 1990, Fielder wallopped 51 homeruns, the first player to the reach the 50 plateau in nearly a decade and a half. At the time, reaching 50 homeruns seemed unnattainable, an accomplishment that could only be accomplished by a player of physical and mental perfection.

Listed at 6’3″ and 230 pounds (a lie if I ever saw one), Fielder was clearly not that. Seemingly everyday, the slugger gained weight. Across the league, tales circulated about the sound of his thighs rubbing together on homerun trots. Players hung out under door jambs in the dugouts while he attempted, and more often than not failed, to run out infield singles. Birds began to fly South early, afraid that Fielder would attempt to eat them mid-game.

Despite his physical imperfections, Fielder dominated the homerun era, leading the league in RBI three years in a row and finishing in the top 3 in MVP voting twice.

In 1998, “Big Daddy” Fielder left the game to pursue a career in losing money, being a deadbeat dad, and tax evasion.

Seven years later, Cecil’s son Prince broke into the big leagues with the Milwaukee Brewers. Early analysts were shocked at the youngster’s weight, but never denied his ability to hit.

This was just too easy.

At 6’0″ and 260 pounds, Fielder is further proving his father’s legacy that “fatter is better.” During his rookie year as a 22-year-old, he made quite a statement by blasting 28 homeruns. The next year, Prince became the youngest player in major league history to reach 50 homeruns. Currently, he and Cecil are the only father-son duo to both hit 50 homeruns in a season.

Look how rolly-polly they are. Ain't that cute?

Unlike his father, who stole just two bases in his 13 year career, Prince can also run. He’s already stolen 12 bases and hit two inside-the-park homeruns. Watching him run the bases is reminiscent of a speeding locomotive or a bowling ball; don’t stand in front of it, or you’ll get hurt.

This past year, Prince announced that he is a vegetarian.

The Fielder’s occupy a special niche in baseball: the bad bodies. For years they have given people like you and me hope: “Sure, I’m 45-years-old, have two-left feet, am partially blind, and have two prosthetic legs, but if those Fielders can do it looking like they do, so can I.”

Other bad bodies in the sport include: NYY lefty CC Sabathia, SFG catcher Bengie Molina, some team’s Sidney Ponson, and PHI pinch-hitter extraordinaire Matt Stairs.


2 Responses

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  1. Just terrible. Their are bad bodies in every North American sport, it doesnt take away from the skills they have. Stop writing cutesy articles that you think are funny that arent please!


    October 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm

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