Sunday, June 04, 2006

Prince Fielder--Dad switched him from BR to BL at age 5

(AP) The shadow of his father follows Prince Fielder every time he steps on the field.It is there in that burly build, a baseball player hidden in a fullback's body. It is there at the plate, in that left-handed swing his father encouraged when the boy was barely old enough to hold a bat. And it is there when bat meets ball, a gift for power hitting you are either born with or you're not. As Prince Fielder makes an early case for National League rookie of the year as the Milwaukee Brewers' first baseman, the temptation is to turn his story into some trite saga about dreams shared by father and son. But family is not always that simple, and the truth behind the ties that bind is that they can unravel as easily.

While Fielder cannot help but draw comparisons to his All-Star father, Cecil, he is determined to forge his own identity — to be someone besides the son of the father he has not spoken to in three years.

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