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Prince Fielder emotionally announces his retirement from baseball

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Texas Rangers slugger Prince Fielder officially announced his retirement at a press conference in Arlington on Wednesday, fighting back tears at the end of a 12-year career.

Wearing a neck brace after neck surgery, Fielder was very emotional throughout the press conference.

"Doctors told me that with two spinal fusions, I can't play major league baseball anymore," Fielder said. "I want to thank my teammates, all the coaching staff. I'm going to really miss being around those guys. I had a lot of fun."

Fielder, 32, hit just .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs in 89 games in a season plagued by injuries.

The left-handed slugger was a six-time All-Star who averaged 35 home runs from 2006-13 and was one of the most feared hitters in the game thanks to the power packed into his beautiful, violent swing.

Fielder was also durable, missing only 13 total games during those eight seasons, though he was limited to just 42 games in 2014 and was besieged by injuries this season that led to his career-ending surgery.

During the press conference, he was flanked at the table by agent Scott Boras on one side, and Fielder's two sons on the other.

Fielder thanked just about everybody, including his wife for always helping him to stay positive, and cried some more when looking to his sons, saying, "I've been in a big league clubhouse since I was their age."

Fielder was in major league clubhouses as a kid with his father, Cecil Fielder, a power hitter in his own right. They are the only father-son duo in major league history to each hit 50 home runs in a season, Cecil with 51 homers in 1990 and Prince with 50 on the nose in 2007.

Both Fielders ended their careers with 319 home runs.

Fielder kept his spirits up despite the sadness of retiring, and was even able to deftly fend off one of the stupidest questions ever, with a reporter asking Fielder, "Do you understand what Lou Gehrig was going through in his famous speech?"

"What?" was all Fielder could say, before the press conference moved on.