Profile: Detroit Tigers Third Baseman Brandon Inge
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Rarely in a city’s baseball history has the knothole through which Detroit Tigers players are viewed invited as much bickering as in the case of Charles “Brandon” Inge.
The jock set, a largely male demographic generally age 25 to deep twilight, watches Inge swing at a pitch — and often miss — and immediately wants him banished from the Tigers’ roster to a bush-league team from which they believe he never should have been promoted.
The at-large Tigers camp sees a different Inge. They behold a spectacularly gifted third baseman whose Nureyev-like pirouettes and balls-of-the-feet maneuvers as he fields ground balls are graceful and pleasing, much like Inge’s genial interviews that spur idyllic images of boyfriends, sons-in-law, and best friends; of kids who mowed your lawn and brothers who watched your back.
These two perspectives have become entrenched rooting sections split by irreconcilable differences. And the subject of their spats knows his critics’ tastes so comprehensively that all he can do is laugh when it’s mentioned that a 33-year-old man from Virginia is our region’s Great Divider.
photographs by joe vaughn.