American baseball star Prince Fielder may have fallen just short in his attempt to win the Home Run Derby three times, but the story of his Korean tattoo lives on.
Fielder doesn’t have any special affinity with Korea, but he does have his the name ‘Prince’ (왕자) tattooed in Korean on his neck, earning him a special place in the hearts of Korean baseball fans.
The story of the tattoo goes back about 10 years, when Fielder went into a market in Florida and spoke with a Korean working there as a clerk. During the conversation he learned his name in Korean, wrote it down, and went straight to a tattoo parlor.
So, Fielder doesn’t have any Korean heritage. He just liked how it sounded and looked. He even admitted to Korean media a number of years back that he had forgotten how it was pronounced.
For the record, 왕자 is pronounced wangja, with two long a’s.