To finish up Prince Fielder week, let’s take a look back at some of his biggest moments as a Brewer. I know there are many more than this, but these were the biggest ones that jumped out to me as I was looking through videos of his career. Note that I limited it to just his Brewers career, though there were plenty more big moments after he left the Brewers. Also, rather than rank them, I just listed them in chronological order. (Because how can you rank big moments like these?)
June 25, 2005: First career home run vs. Minnesota Twins
The home runs for Prince Fielder started on this day in 2005. With the Brewers down by one, Fielder hit a three-run home run into the Brewers bullpen for his first career home run.
August 31, 2005: Walk-off home run vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
It was two months later that Prince Fielder would hit his second major-league home run, and this time, it was of the walk-off variety. Down one in the ninth inning, Fielder hit a two-run shot to right field to get his first walk-off home run in a 6-5 win.
June 17, 2007: Inside the Park Home Run @ Minnesota Twins
One thing no one ever expected Prince Fielder to do was hit an inside the park home run. He accomplished that feat on this day, though needed some help to do it. Leading off the inning, Fielder hit a towering pop-up that center fielder Lew Ford ended up losing somewhere between the lights and the white ceiling. As Ford tried to find the ball, Fielder ran full speed around the bases and managed to complete it before the ball made it back to the infield. It helped the Brewers tie the game in the ninth before losing in the bottom of the inning.
June 19, 2008: Inside the Park Home Run vs. Toronto Blue Jays
What’s more unbelievable than Prince Fielder hitting an inside the park Home Run? How about him hitting a SECOND one? Just over one year after his first one, Fielder added a second against the Blue Jays. Fielder hit a line drive to right field that ended up getting stuck under the outfield wall padding. Right fielder Alex Rios held up his hands calling for a ground-rule double, but the umpire never granted it (since the ball was not wedged such that it couldn’t be pulled out). Meanwhile, Fielder just kept running, and by the time the ball was thrown back in, Fielder had scored.
August 4, 2008: Fight with Manny Parra @ Cincinnati Reds
Not all of the moments for Prince Fielder were positive. With the Brewers struggling down the stretch in 2008, tempers flared on this day. After a start where Manny Parra gave up six runs, Fielder and Parra got into an argument that resulted in Fielder shoving Parra twice. After the game, reports were that Parra wanted to go into the clubhouse and Fielder was not happy about that.
September 23, 2008: Walk-off home run vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
The last few weeks of the Brewers season in 2008 was tense as the Brewers had only a few games left to make up ground and make the playoffs. With the Pirates in town, it was a perfect opportunity to make up that ground, and Fielder did it in style on this night. With the score tied at 5-5, he hit a walk-off home run to keep the Brewers on pace and in the hunt for the Wild Card.
June 25, 2009: Foul Ball vs. Minnesota Twins
This isn’t much of a highlight moment, but it did showcase Fielder’s reflexes. With Braun at the plate, Fielder had to dodge quick on this day to avoid getting hit by a foul ball.
August 4, 2009: Post-game “altercation” vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
As I mentioned before, not all of the moments with Fielder were positive. On this day in 2009, the Brewers were blown out badly against the Dodgers. Following the game, Fielder was angry at Guillermo Mota after he threw a pitch that hit him during the game (which Mota was ejected for). He went to the Dodgers clubhouse after the game, and had to be restrained and pulled back by his teammates.
September 6, 2009: Triple play vs. San Francisco Giants
As a Brewer, Fielder was involved in turning two triple plays for the team. The first of the two was a “routine” one (if you can call a triple play “routine”. The play went 5-4-3, erasing all of the baserunners and ending the inning.
September 6, 2009: Walk-off home run vs. San Francisco Giants
Of course, the triple play isn’t the reason most people remember this game. It’s the moment that ended the game that people remember. With the game tied in the 12th, Fielder hit a solo walk-off home run, and the celebration that followed is one of the most remembered of Fielder’s tenure as a Brewer.
May 20, 2011: Walk-off home run vs. Colorado Rockies
The 2011 season didn’t start off very well. The Brewers struggled through the first two months of the season, and entering this day were only 21-23. Desperate for a win, the Brewers had tied this game against the Rockies twice already and were down one entering the bottom of the 14th inning. That’s when Fielder came through, hitting a two-run walk off home run far out of the ballpark to get a much-needed win. This started a six game winning streak that would get the Brewers back into contention.
August 15, 2011: Triple play vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
This was the more memorable one of the triple plays that Fielder was involved in. It started as a standard double play (Wilson to Betancourt to Fielder), but Kemp took off for home, thinking he could catch the Brewers napping. He didn’t, and Fielder fired a perfect throw to George Kottaras at home plate to catch Matt Kemp and complete the triple play.
September 27, 2011: Three home runs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
There’s two points of emphasis with the home runs that Fielder hit on this day. First of all, it was the first time in his career that he hit three home runs in the same day. Second, these would be the last home runs that Fielder would hit as a Brewer in the regular season.
October 9, 2011: Go-ahead home run in Game 1 of NLCS vs. St. Louis Cardinals
In his postseason career with the Brewers, Prince Fielder hit a total of four home runs (one in 2008 and three in 2011). This was the biggest of the four by far. With the Brewers down 5-4 and a runner on, Fielder hit one out to the Cardinals bullpen to give the Brewers a 6-5 lead that would eventually give them a 1-0 lead to open the series.
That’s where we will bring this review of Fielder’s biggest moments to a close. Which of these was the biggest in your mind?