If you want to get something done, give it to a busy man. And on the baseball diamond, Prince Fielder likes to stay busy. “I like to play every day.”
That’s what made the 2014 season so tough for Fielder. After having played in 547 consecutive games (in an era when star players are often given days off to “stay fresh”), Fielder’s streak came to an end because of a neck injury that required season-ending surgery after only 42 games. “I think it was just years of being able to get away with bad mechanics,” Fielder says of the injury. “I’m definitely using my lower body more in my swing, the right way. Every year, you have to try to be better, to do things better than you did before. That’s how you can stay durable.”
Shirt, Anto of Beverly Hills; Jeans, 3X1; Watch, Audemars Piguet
Durable is one adjective you can use to describe Fielder. Productive is another. In his first eight full Major League seasons, Fielder has averaged 35 home runs and 107 RBI. “I’m proud of the streak, to be able to come to play every day, to have little injuries and push through them. But more than that, I am proud that I was able to perform through those games at a high level.”
This year, with his mechanics revamped, Fielder has returned to his All-Star form, batting over .300 and nearing his average home run and RBI totals as he has led the Rangers to first place in the American League West and a chance for postseason glory.
The one silver lining of Fielder’s cloudy 2014 season with the Texas Rangers was that the forced time off allowed him to spend time during the summer with his ten and 9-year-old sons. “Once I realized that there was nothing I could do besides wait to get better, I really embraced the time away,” Fielder says. “I haven’t had a summer off since I was 14 years old. I enjoyed being able to be with my kids and they enjoyed having me there. Whenever the team was on the road, I was able to drop them off and pick them up from school, go to their basketball games, all the things that you miss when you’re a professional baseball player.”
Vest, Pants and T-Shirt, John Varvatos; Sneakers, Buscemi; Watch, Panerai
As great as the experience was for Fielder, he feels like he has much to pass on to them in his role as an athlete. It all circles back to the mental and physical stamina it takes to perform every day. “It’s great if other kids see me as a role model, but mostly I want my two boys to learn from my work ethic,” Fielder says. “I want them to work hard, to listen and to lead by example. When I’m done playing the game, I’d like to be remembered as someone who played hard and came ready to go every day. I never left any of my teammates hanging. My coaches knew when they came to the ballpark, they could put my name in the lineup, and they knew exactly what they could expect.”