Baumhower: Motown DaddyWritten by Jeremy Baumhower | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Forget “Downton Abbey.” FOX Sports Detroit and Illich Productions have teamed to provide a sensational family drama scheduled for summer 2012 — “Motown Daddy.”
“Motown Daddy” is an athletic drama that features a Prince trying to erase his father’s name, in a city where the father once ruled. Six nights a week, TVs in Northwest Ohio will follow closely as the Prince of Woodward and his brothers battle Indians, Rangers, Yankees and other Royals. This nightly soap opera will hopefully make grown men cry in October and not in July.
Jan. 24 will be remembered as one of the greatest days for any Tigers’ fan — it was the day we welcomed home a Prince.
Prince Fielder signed a nine-year deal worth $214 million, a contract he could have signed in New York or Boston, where it almost guaranteed him a World Championship, but he chose Detroit — why? Prince, the son of Tiger great Cecil Fielder, who ruled Motown during the early ’90s, was raised around baseball and spent his summers at the old Tigers Stadium. At the age of 12, Prince was putting on hitting expos during pre-game batting practices. There are stories that he hit moonshot home runs that landed in the upper deck of left field. Prince went from Tiger Stadium at the age of 12 to being served lawsuit papers for his father by the age of 18.
There is something to be said of a man who named his son Prince and his daughter Ceclynn. I imagine that if I hit 51 home runs in one season like Cecil did, my confidence might get a little out of whack and my ego might allow me to name my son Prince. This may come of as a bit of a shocker, but it appears that Cecil never won a Parent of the Year Award. Cecil’s gambling addiction and business practices cost his family everything, culminating a divorce. A man who made nearly $47 million in his baseball career now has little to show for it besides an estranged relationship with his son. After watching Dad blow their family’s entire fortune, after losing their 50 room “palace” in Florida, Prince still had his father in his life. Finally, Cecil, who “helped” negotiate Prince’s first major league deal, demanded a percentage as a reward, and Prince had had enough.
Cue winter of 2012 and Prince becomes a free agent. For weeks, ESPN, MLB.TV follow the everyday saga of Prince’s agent Scott Boras as he shouts $200 million across the league. Prospective teams included the Rangers and Nationals but the words “Detroit” and “Prince” were paired with any regularity. Then Victor Martinez tore his ACL and Mike Illich bought a Prince.
Prince Fielder’s World Tour will kick off in the Glass City on April 4 when the Tigers play the Mud Hens. Not since the notorious John Rocker’s Triple A send-down in 2000 has there been a media frenzy with TV satellite trucks everywhere. I even predict the game may be seen nationwide on ESPN or MLB.TV. That Wednesday, Prince Fielder will be reminded how loyal the baseball subjects are in this part of the country and will for the first time see the hopes and dreams of Tigers fans, 50 miles south.
Cecil Fielder was my Tiger growing up. I own a No. 45 jersey that I wear often. I tell stories to my son Braden about watching him and his 51-home run season. That is why Jan. 24 meant so much to me as a father and a Tigers’ fan. Now I get to buy my son a Prince Fielder jersey and hope his dreams are realized in October.
Jeremy Baumhower is a self-proclaimed media expert who writes and produces for national morning radio shows. Please follow him on twitter @jeremytheproduc.