The Richmond Register

Business

June 30, 2007

Cecil Fielder: the sins of the father

“I know that I have to go away. I have to go.”

— “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens



Although angst between father and son can be traced to the beginning of time, I thought it was strange when baseball star Prince Fielder showed animosity toward his father, Cecil, a former baseball star himself.

The book about Cecil was that he was a well-rounded family man.

Then I read published reports which stated that Cecil ran through the $47 million that he made as a baseball player.

According to an article in the Detroit News, Cecil lost a ton of money at the casinos and never told his family. Nothing seemed amiss until the foreclosure people showed up. Cecil and his wife then had a bitter divorce.

Sports Illustrated said Cecil allegedly helped himself to $200,000 of Prince’s signing bonus. Prince was served by a lawsuit process server seeking Cecil during a baseball game.

You can see why Prince is somewhat hostile.

Money woes caused the destruction of the Fielder family, just as it has for many families. Money is a leading cause of divorce. Cecil’s hidden gambling spawned a lack of trust.

Although gambling was a huge part of the problem, Cecil also lost money making bad business decisions. That is really sad.

When you have $47 million, you don’t need to make any business decisions. You just need to hang on to your money. You can invest it conservatively and live the life you want.

The smart thing for Fielder to do would have been to have set some financial goals that would have gotten a decent return with little risk.

If Cecil had put the money in treasury bonds paying 5 percent, the interest would have been more than $2.3 million a year.

Some people can live on $2.3 million a year. I probably can.

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