PHOENIX -- After winning the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevy and granting interviews, the moment finally came for Prince Fielder to pull off his dirty No. 28 Brewers jersey at his National League locker and hand it over to the Hall of Fame.
Brad Horn, senior director of communications and education for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, was looking for only one thing late Tuesday night from the 82nd All-Star Game. Fielder was more than happy to part with his jersey, which will go back to Cooperstown, N.Y., as an All-Star Week artifact along with a bat from Grant Green, MVP of Sunday's XM All-Star Futures Game.
"It's awesome. Anytime Cooperstown wants anything of mine they can have it," Fielder said. "It's a great honor to have anything in there, let alone that jersey."
Fielder noted that the last time an item of his went to Cooperstown, it was in 2007, when he gave up a bat used in becoming the youngest Major Leaguer to hit 50 homers in a season.
This was a departure from last year, when All-Star MVP Brian McCann handed over the bat he used to hit the big double that finally ended the American League's dominance.
"We also have a clubhouse exhibit called 'Today's Game,' a locker for each of the 30 clubs, and knowing it has been a while since we had a Brewers jersey from a feat, that trumped the bat in this case," Horn explained.
"Plus a little bit of the iconic status of Prince as a Brewer, so that fans of the team can come through the museum and connect with him. Sometimes the bat takes precedent. In this case, knowing the last time a Brewers jersey [came to the Hall, a] need was fulfilled. It was probably Ben Sheets or Geoff Jenkins."
The Hall of Fame also looks for quirks or nuances, Horn said, and in this case that was the two new stars that were stitched onto the backs of jerseys and caps worn by All-Stars. This is the first year that players were designated as such during regular-season games leading up to the Midsummer Classic.
Any fan can own the authentic version of the same Majestic Athletic jersey Fielder just gave to Cooperstown -- sans the Chase Field dirt. The Brewers Authentic Prince Fielder Home Cool Base Jersey with 2011 All-Star Patch and Stars is available at the MLB.com Shop.