On this day in 1984 Prince Semien Fielder was born in Ontario, California. He graduated from Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, Florida and a few weeks later the Brewers selected him with the #7 overall pick in the 2002 draft. The pick was met with some criticism at the time but turned out to be a pretty good decision.
After hitting .297/.398/.524 with 91 home runs in 448 minor league games, making his major league debut in 2005 and being ranked as Baseball America's #10, #15 and #11 prospect in all of baseball in 2004, 2005 and 2006, Fielder became the Brewers' everyday first baseman in 2006. He played in 157 games that year, then played in 158 or more in each of the five seasons that followed. Between 2009 and 2011 he missed exactly one game.
Fielder was an NL All Star for the first time as a 23-year-old in 2007 when he led the National League with 50 home runs, becoming the youngest player ever to reach that mark. He later led the NL again with 141 RBI in 2009 and 114 walks in 2010.
All told, Fielder hit .282/.390/.540 over 6+ seasons as a Brewer before signing a nine year, $214 million deal with the Tigers this winter. In his first 28 games in Detroit this season he's hitting .308/.381/.452 with four home runs.
Fielder turns 28 today. With help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd also like to wish a happy birthday to:
- 1984-85 Brewer Doug Loman, who turns 54.
- 1976-77 Brewer Dan Thomas, who would have turned 61.
- Milwaukee native Gus Krock, who would have turned 146. Krock played three major league seasons between 1888 and 1890 as a member of the Chicago White Stockings and two other teams.