Tom Wilhelmsen and Prince Fielder had a pre-game reunion Tuesday, the first time the two had encountered each other on the field in years.
The Mariners reliever and Tigers first baseman were teammates on Miluwakee’s Class A team in Beloit.
“I was surprised he remembered me and came over to talk,” Wilhelmsen said. “He walked over and said, ‘Hey, I didn’t know you were a bar tender!’”
Wilhelmsen broke into the majors with Seattle last season and has become the Mariners primary setup man out of the bullpen. After years with the Brewers, Fielder wound up with the Tigers this year as a free agent.
“I remember a game when Prince swung so hard at a pitch he fell across the plate and landed on his side in the dirt,” Wilhelmsen said. “Pitchers don’t like that kind of swing.
“The next pitch knocked him on his back. Now he’s up there and his uniform is dirty front and back. The third pitch is below the knees and Prince killed it.
“We were in a ballpark where the scoreboard had flames coming out the top – and the ball landed on top of the scoreboard in those flames. It had to be a five billion to one shot,” Wilhelmsen said.