Prince Fielder hasn’t always had the best relationship with his dad, former big-leaguer Cecil Fielder, but a conversation between them from his Little League days still resonates.

Prince fouled a ball off his shin and his dad asked, “Are you all right?”

“I was like, ‘Yeah, it just hurts,’ ” Fielder said.

His dad then told him that he’s good enough to play.

“I was like, ‘What? No, look. It’s swollen. It’s cramping,’ ” Fielder said.

His dad strongly suggested that he thought he could play and ended the conversation. The next day, Fielder played in a doubleheader. He has kept that approach ever since.

“I didn’t know what my dad meant, but I was finally like, ‘I guess that means I should play,’ ” Fielder said. “If you’re hurt, it’s one thing. But if you’re just sore, you’re all right.

“Unless I have to miss a game, I don’t want to. If you’re not hurt, play.”

Fielder has been the most durable player in the big leagues the past eight years, playing at least 157 games in each of them. He has played in all 162 games each of the last three years and enters this season as the active leader in consecutive games played with 505.

Third baseman Adrian Beltre said Fielder might be the best athlete among the team’s infielders. That might surprise some, considering Fielder is listed at 5-foot-11, 275 pounds, but not those who know him.

“Our area scout, Tom McNamara, watched him do private workouts in high school and was blown away by the intensity level at which he did them,” said Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik, who was the scouting director for the Brewers when they drafted Fielder seventh overall in 2002.

“I’ve seen all kinds of physical specimens who spend more time on the disabled list than they do on the active list,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. “Prince knows what he needs to do to take care of himself, and I think being told that he couldn’t be an everyday player really drives him.”

Fielder knows he had his fair share of skeptics who thought he was too big or too immobile to play every day. He’s not trying to prove them wrong, though.