By Eric Hampton/Sportz Detroit
By Kevin Alan Lamb
The Prince of a town built on motors and music will not be the best player in baseball in 2012, he will not hit a home run in every at bat, he will not carry the Tigers to the Series on his own…and that’s just fine.
Prince Fielder will be in the top five in the league in home runs, run batted in, and slugging.
Fielder will combine with Miguel Cabrera to be the best three-four combo in baseball.
He will make his teammates better because he is a professional and an outstanding human being with a kind heart, and the charisma and genuine love for the game that it takes to lead.
And last, this Fielder will be remembered as the Fielder in Detroit.
“It feels good, everyone’s been cool so far, everyone likes my kids, that always helps,” Fielder said as his seven-year-old boy Jadyn ran through the locker room.
The youngest player to hit 50 home runs in a season joins the best hitter in baseball, Cabrera, to form 515 pounds of the most perfectly erected genetics to swing a piece of lumber.
“It’s awesome. I had the privilege to be a part of a great three-four combo in Milwaukee, now here. It’s great to be able to watch superstars hit every day,” Prince said with a grin.
As a child, Fielder, like many of his generation, watched in awe of no. 24 in Seattle.
“Ken Griffey Jr. is the best of his time,” Prince said.
It comes then, as little surprise that Fielder loved the superstar’s Super Nintendo game, “Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball”, as it was the greatest baseball game of its time.
“I always played with Seattle, had to hit with the ‘Kid’,” Fielder said.
Coming to Detroit meant saying goodbye to the only teammates Fielder has known since coming to the bigs.
“Obviously I miss all of them, but probably Ricky (Weeks), we played together since we were 12, so I probably miss him the most. He lives close to me, we still see each other, and talk when we can,” Fielder said.
With visible tattoos on his forearms, the 2009 Home Run Derby champ spoke on his ink:
“I don’t know how many I have because they’re all drawn into one. I got my first at 14,” a soft-spoken Fielder said.
Even the highest-paid-player in MLB history and the Prince of Motown looks forward to meeting his idols:
“Drake and Kendrick Lamar,” Fielder said.
The fans have been given everything they had hoped for from Fielder, who believes it is his obligation to show his support in the form of signing autographs and taking pictures with adoring fans.
“Nothing makes me happier,” Fielder said.
Days in Lakeland are numbered for the Tigers, and that’s just fine with Fielder.
“The best thing about opening day is that you’re out of spring… that it counts,” Prince said.
Kevin (@KevinaAlanLamb) plays softball for the Traveling Wilburys, slamming softballs and beers since 1983.
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