For a little bit over a decade, between 2005 and 2016, Prince Fielder was one of the biggest names in professional baseball. The first baseman followed in his father, Cecil Fielder’s, footsteps when he joined the MLB, and, at the time, it seemed the shared experience would only bring the two already close men even closer. As it turns out, that couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
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Despite having a close relationship for much of Prince’s early life, things between the two Fielders began to unravel in 2004. That year, Cecil and Stacey Fielder, Prince’s parents, began their divorce proceedings. In the process, it was revealed that the family was struggling financially and had a number of creditors chasing them down for large sums of money. The in-court fighting over who was at fault for the family’s predicament got ugly, and Prince took his mother’s side, accusing his dad of gambling addiction and distancing himself from the man who taught him to be a power hitter. Things took an even uglier turn when Prince accused Cecil of taking $200,000 from his signing bonus without permission.
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The pair’s relationship was so strained that Prince once told the Detroit News, that his father was dead to him. It took a long time for the two men to work things out, but eventually, they did. In 2015, when Prince retired, he was on speaking terms with his dad once again.