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Cecil Fielder in serious financial trouble


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From www.foxsports.com

Fielder reportedly in hiding over debts

FOXSports.com

Posted: 9 minutes ago

Cecil Fielder retired with more than $47 million in career earnings and lived in an elegant mansion with his family in Central Florida. Now, it is gone and the former major-league slugger is in hiding having accrued gambling debts that have process servers stalking him, according to the Detroit News.

"Gambling caused Cecil Fielder's empire to collapse," said Al Arostegui, the realtor who sold the Fielders their 50-room palace in Melbourne, Fla., in 1995 for $3.7 million.

Cecil "Big Daddy" Fielder has fallen on hard times after a solid major-league career, which spanned 13 seasons with five different teams.

"This isn't a story of a hero who went bad, but a hero who got sick. For Cecil, gambling is a disease; it's like a cancer of some sort that ate away his wealth."

Arostegui told The News he is owed more than $70,000 by the Fielders in unpaid advertising expenses from his attempts to sell their house for them.

Stacey Fielder says she still loves her husband. However, the two are reportedly mired in bitter divorce proceedings.

"But this isn't the same Cecil," she told the newspaper. "I never saw any of this coming. I never even knew he gambled."

She says that by the time he made his first halting admissions to her about a gambling problem, their house had been foreclosed on by a bank, and a string of lawsuits ? collectively worth millions ? had already been filed by creditors.

Fielder reportedly "never showed that side around me or any of his friends," said Tigers third-base coach Juan Samuel, who has been close to Fielder for 20 years.

"A lot of times it starts small, a little bet here and there, maybe even in the clubhouse ? before you know, things get out of hand."

On a February day in 1999, Fielder reportedly walked into the Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic City just before noon, and filled out an application for credit.

Fielder was reportedly given a credit line worth $25,000. That money and whatever cash he started with was thought to have lasted a day and a half.

He paid off small amounts of that debt to hold off Trump's collectors on the bulk of the money until September 2000, when at least 10 bank drafts, authorized by Fielder, bounced due to insufficient funds.

"I never knew anything about any of this until I started noticing things when I was doing the finances," Stacey Fielder said. "I'd be going over the bills with the accountant, and I'd be like, 'Hey, there's $35,000 gone from this account. What happened to it?' Then these gambling people just descended on the house one day, and started just taking things out of it. They took my truck.

"We talked about it (Cecil's gambling) only a few times. I was under the impression he was going to get some help."

One day Fielder's son Prince, then an 18-year-old minor leaguer, walked off the field in August 2002 and was approached not by a fan or reporter, but a process server who had been searching for his dad. The man reportedly shoved papers in Prince Fielder's hands naming his father as a defendant in a $387,744 lawsuit.

"Oh, my God, this is the first time I'm hearing that story," Stacey Fielder told the newspaper. "That's just another thing I was kept in the dark about."

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Gambling addiction is an illness I'll never understand (since I don't have it). You wonder how anybody can go through that much money that quickly. I have one friend who was on a flight to Vegas when he ran in to Art Schlichter. Seems Art was having one last fling before turning himself in for cashing a forged check to support his gambling habit. He has been in and out of jail a couple of more times since then because he continues to commit crimes to get money to gamble away.

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I talked to Cecil in late August, he looked fancy... had a stylin' suit on.

Was he singing "I've got the horse right here. His name is Paul Revere . . . "?

Good lord, do I need a vacation. Thankfully I'm going on one tomorrow.

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I talked to Cecil in late August, he looked fancy... had a stylin' suit on.

Was he singing "I've got the horse right here. His name is Paul Revere . . . "?

Good lord, do I need a vacation. Thankfully I'm going on one tomorrow.

Taking the family to Wally World, are ya Clark?

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