Prince Fielder's desire to play every game is rooted in something his father, Cecil, told him, many years ago.

Prince remembers that he was 12 when this happened. He was playing in a game in Florida. It was the off-season for Cecil, then with the Yankees following his thunderous Tigers career.

After Prince fouled a ball off his shin, he left the game. "It was hurting," he said. "It started cramping up. It was bruised a little bit."

Cecil came up to the fence to ask him what was wrong. Prince told him. Then, as Prince recalls, the conversation went like this:

Cecil: "Sore, huh? I don't think you're hurt."

Prince: "You saw it. I fouled it off. You see?"

Cecil: "I see it. I don't think you're hurt."

Then Cecil walked away.

"I was like, 'Wow,' " Prince said. "I felt terrible. I thought about it: I can play. It's just a little pain. After that, I never wanted to come out of the game again."