Former Detroit Tigers first baseman Cecil Fielder was nicknamed “Big Daddy” for a reason – he hit some pretty big home runs!
Of course, one of Fielder's best moments wearing the Old English D came during 1990 game against the Oakland Athletics, in which he launched an absolute bomb off pitcher Dave Stewart that ended up on the street outside Tiger Stadium:
The hit was the 41st long ball of the year for Fielder, who would finish with 51 home runs and 132 RBI, both best in the big leagues.
Prior to today's game against the Texas Rangers, Fielder was honored at Comerica Park by being named the recipient of The Willie Horton African American Legacy Award, which “was created in 2009 to honor African Americans who have strengthened the legacy of baseball in the African American community and have contributed to the rich history of the Detroit Tigers. Each year it is awarded during Negro Leagues Week.”
Former @tigers slugger Cecil Fielder was honored prior to today's game with the Willie Horton African American Legacy Award! #DetroitRoots pic.twitter.com/jMlmKKCkuz
— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) June 19, 2022
The Tigers honored Cecil Fielder prior to today's game
He joined Matt Shepard and Jack Morris in the Bally Sports Detroit broadcast booth during today's game to discuss his having received the honor:
“Man, they got me a little emotional,” he said. “When they brought that picture out of me and Mr. Ilitch, I think that kind of threw me over the top. Willie Horton has always been a person in my life that I've always respected. When he called me and told me he wanted to have that award this year, I was very honored to do it. There's gonna be some memories up on the wall because that picture of me and Mr. Ilitch is really special.”
Fielder then went on to explain how he was consistently able to produce offense for the Tigers:
“My thing was, skip (Sparky Anderson) always said if you hit me 30 and drive in 100, that's it, you're good,” he said. “I drove in runs by hitting balls up the middle, men on 2nd base hitting the ball to the right side. You don't drive in 130 just hitting home runs, it doesn't work like that. You need to drive in runs by getting some base hits also.”