Prince Fielder earns MVP honors
PHOENIX -- Arizona's fans booed new villain Prince Fielder every chance they got, letting him know what they thought of his choices for the Home Run Derby.
Milwaukee's big first baseman sent them a message with one big swing of the bat: shhh!
Shaking off two days of boos, Fielder hit a crowd-shushing three-run homer to earn All-Star game MVP honors in the National League's 5-1 win over the American League on Tuesday night.
Honor Fit For A Prince
Prince Fielder became the fourth first baseman to be named All-Star Game MVP and the first-ever Brewer.
|Steve Garvey||1974, 1978|
• Stats & Info: Fielder Of Dreams
The NL captain for the Home Run Derby on Monday night, Fielder irked the locals when he bypassed Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton.
Fielder couldn't keep them quiet during the derby, missing the finals while being booed every at-bat. But he came through in the All-Star game, hitting a long drive off Texas left-hander C.J. Wilson in the fourth inning that sent a collective ohh! through the crowd.
"I didn't take it personal at all," Fielder said. "I understood it. No hard feelings."
Fielder was on the spot after Major League Baseball shook up the format for the Home Run Derby this year.
Instead of bringing in eight players to whack it out, two captains were selected to pick four-person teams from each league. Fielder got the NL honors and Boston's David Ortiz, the defending derby champion, got to pick the AL stars.
Upton figured to be a favorite to make the NL team, in part because he was from the host club, but also because he had put up good power numbers this season and, obviously, knows where to hit the ball at spacious Chase Field.
They let him hear about it, too, raining boos down on him during introductions at the Home Run Derby and with each at-bat Monday night. Arizona's fans also took it out on Weeks and Kemp, screaming out boos and chants of Justin Upton! during their at-bats.
Fielder managed to get through a swing-off to reach the derby semifinals, going a perfect 5-for-5, but came up short after that, relegated to watching while Adrian Gonzalez and eventual champion Robinson Cano continued on.
The fans weren't done letting him have it, though, firing off more rounds of boos during the All-Star game introductions and each of his first two at-bats.
Second to St. Louis' Lance Berkman in the NL with 22 homers, Fielder put a lump in their throats in the second at-bat, sending a towering drive to left-center that caromed off the top of the wall and put the NL up 3-1. He was done after that, but didn't really need to do anymore.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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