By Jamie Bailey
On August 9th, 2016 the Texas Rangers – the team with the best record in the American League and 3rd best in baseball – announced that they would have a press conference the following day. There were grumblings that the press conference was about their injured first baseman/ designated hitter Prince Fielder. Prince had been going though a struggle on the field this year. He was hitting .212 with only 8 homers and 44 rbi’s. Far removed from his early days with the Milwaukee Brewers when he put up massive numbers and was an all-star. There were reason’s for his struggles, his neck was bothering him again. He was going to have to have surgery on his neck for the second time in 27 months. The news was far worse than the neck surgery he had on his C4 -c5 herniation’s in his neck. His career was in a loop.
The next day at his press conference Prince told the world the doctors who had performed his surgery told him he would never be medically cleared to play baseball again. His career was done at the age of 32. Prince was very emotional at his press conference as he broke-down several times, and paused between tears. He must have been thinking why him? While I was watching the press conference I even asked; why him? At the age of 32 not even a year removed from AL Comeback Player of the year, he can no longer play the game he loves so much. This goes to show you that life isn’t fair, and tomorrow isn’t promised. Prince isn’t the first or last professional athlete whose career ended too soon.
What was truly amazing about the press conference was the amount of support the Rangers organization showed to all of the players who came to support him, and most of the front office was present. Prince seems to be a well liked guy and several of his teammates were broken up by his sudden departure from the game. Prince loves baseball, and as a fan, I hope he continues to be involved in baseball at some capacity. For now I know he’s hurting and he will probably need some time to accept his sudden fate. In the mean time I’m sure the Rangers are on a mission. 2016 season will be about one thing and one thing only; win it for Prince!