Angels’ Fishel Arrested and Jailed : Jurisprudence: Former Titan, now a replacement player, is incarcerated for failure to pay child support.


Angel replacement player John Fishel went from the land of the free to the home of the incarcerated in the span of about an hour Tuesday afternoon.

Soon after the playing of the national anthem in Tempe Diablo Stadium, Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies arrested the former Cal State Fullerton star on a warrant that he owes about $50,000 in child support to a Phoenix-area woman who claims Fishel is the father of her 6-year-old daughter.

Fishel, who was not in the lineup for the game against the Milwaukee Brewers, was led from the dugout by an Angel executive and brought to the team’s front office, where deputies were waiting.


Fishel, 32, an outfielder/first baseman, spent the next 12 hours in the Madison Street jail in downtown Phoenix.

He was released at 1:14 a.m. after satisfying a judge’s request to pay $50,000, according to Lisa Allen, public information officer of the sheriff’s department.

“That is not likely all of the support he owes, but a fair portion of it,” Allen said. “He will meet with the judge at a later date (Tuesday) to figure out how much more he owes.”

Angel General Manager Bill Bavasi would not comment on Fishel’s situation, or whether the Angels had provided financial assistance. He did say, however, that Fishel’s status on the team would not be affected.

“It’s his business,” Bavasi said. “It’s a personal issue that he’s taking care of through the proper legal channels.”

Fishel was back in uniform for Wednesday’s game against the San Francisco Giants, and glad to be in a clubhouse rather than a jailhouse.


“I never want to go back there again,” Fishel said. “I saw some pretty bizarre stuff. There were 30 to 40 people in there at times, and I was the only one without a tattoo. I stood the whole time. I wouldn’t fall asleep for a second.”

According to Sgt. John Kleinheinz, a sheriff’s office spokesman, the original child-support warrant was filed in 1991 for $8,000 a year. But with interest and penalties, the amount had ballooned past $50,000.

Fishel, who said he has been paying child support to two other women the last three years, plans to dispute the Phoenix-area woman’s claim he is the child’s father.

“If it is established that I’m the father, then I’ll be more than happy to support her,” said Fishel, who was the College World Series most valuable player while leading Fullerton to the 1984 national championship. “I’ve been paying support for other kids, so the notion of me having lots of money (to pay the Phoenix-area woman) is completely ludicrous.”

Fishel, who retired in 1990 after a six-year professional baseball career, has been living in Columbus, Ohio, for the past four years. He said about 45% of his $28,000 annual income from a cabinet-manufacturing company has gone to pay child support for an 11-year-old daughter he had out of wedlock and an 8-year-old son from a previous marriage.

He is married with two other children and a stepdaughter. He said he knew of the warrant in Phoenix before signing with the Angels but thought it had expired.

“I’m happy to face this and get it behind me, but at the same time I’m embarrassed about it,” Fishel said. “But I have to put it aside and concentrate on baseball. I still have my own family and two other kids to provide for.”