Tuesday night Detroit Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge found himself in familiar suroundings. Instead of Comerica Park in Detroit, Inge found himself at Fifth Third Field in Comstock Park, just north of Grand Rapids, Michigan, on a rahab assigment, after a pitch broke a finger on his left hand. Inge played his first season of professional baseball there as a catcher back in 1999, where he batted .244 with nine home runs, 46 RBI’s and 25 doubles. Inge seemed to have fond memories of his time in West Michigan.
“I love it here, I really do,” Inge told the Grand Rapids Press. “It’s kind of the starting point for me. This was the first full season I had in the minor leagues. This place produces great ballplayers, and it’s the first place you go to where you have larger crowds. People are very loyal here–the most loyal I’ve ever seen.”
In the game, Inge went 2-5 with two doubles and an RBI in a 7-6 loss to the Great Lakes Loons. His broken finger has seemed to healed nicely for him as well. After the game he stated:
“I feel suprisingly good, seeing as I don’t have any pain and I’m happy with where I am right now. In don’t like to sit on the DL very long. A broken bone is a broken bone, but this whole time, for some reason, it hasn’t felt as bad as other broken bones I’ve had.”
Inge is one of the most popular Whitecaps alumni, and was inducted into the ‘Caps inagural Hall of Fame. The Whitecaps also gave out 1,000 Inge bobbleheads back in June as a promotion. He spent about 20 minutes signing autographs before the game, and recieved a huge ovation from the rabid West Michigan crowd when introduced as the starting third baseman.
Photos courtesy of the Grand Rapids Press