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With a House This Size, He Needs a Travel Agent to Visit Kitchen

February 26, 1998|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

TEMPE, Ariz. — No wonder Cecil Fielder doesn't pick up a bat or ball during the off-season. With a winter home like his, who has time for baseball?

Fielder's 19,500-square-foot, 50-room mansion in Melbourne, Fla., includes full basketball and tennis courts, a theater with an 11-foot screen and movie-house quality sound system, a professional weight room with massage and steam rooms and a sauna, and an 8,000-bottle circular wine cellar.

His two kids can play in a media center, an arts-and-crafts room, a game room or a model train room. There are outdoor and indoor playscapes, an arcade and a swimming pool.

The home has nine fireplaces, including two in the master bedroom suite, a huge, professional kitchen equipped with two commercial-grade stoves, and a 40-foot foyer with a circular staircase and indoor pond. There's even a 4,500- square-foot guest house.

"I don't even have to leave the house unless I want to see one of my son's basketball games or take a ride in one of my old cars," said Fielder, who owns 25 cars, including a 1940 Cadillac, a 1957 Chevy Bel-Air convertible and a Ferrari. "There's a lot of things to do."

Big Daddy also likes his big house to be filled with big crowds. Rarely a week goes by in the off-season when friends or relatives aren't staying with his family, and his holiday guest list usually swells to 50 or so.

"I like to surround myself with family and friends, that's the only way to live," Fielder said. "A lot of people ask me if fame is what I like most about the game. The thing that makes me feel good is I can provide for my family, not just my immediate family but my whole family."

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