Major League Baseball announced yesterday that Brandon Inge of the Tigers and Shane Victorino of the Phillies were the winners of the All-Star game final vote and will be added to the rosters.
Inge will join Curtis Granderson, Justin Verlander, and Edwin Jackson in representing Detroit in this year's game. It will be the first selection for Inge, Granderson, and Jackson while Verlander is making his second appearance.
The final vote began Sunday afternoon and ended Thursday at 4pm. During that span, Inge amassed over 11 million votes, edging out the Rangers' Ian Kinsler.
Inge's total set a new record for most votes received by an AL player. Victorino also set an overall record with over 15 million votes.
The outpouring of public support for Inge was amazing. I have to wonder if any other Tiger would have received the same type of support. I'd like to say yes, but would everyone have pushed as hard as they did if it were say, Gerald Laird or Placido Polanco that were on the final ballot? Or even Miguel Cabrera for that matter?
Inge's place in the hearts of Tiger fans is one that no other player has.
No current Tiger has been here longer. He was there in 2003, as a light hitting catcher on the worst team in AL history. He lost his job when Pudge Rodriguez came aboard and learned to play all over the field in order to stay in the big leagues.
After becoming a mainstay at third base for a couple years, his poor hitting combined with the trade for Cabrera cost him yet another everyday job. Once again, he found himself back behind the plate when last season ended.
The offensive prowess he has shown this year has been the biggest surprise of this season for Detroit, and maybe in all of baseball. His flashy defense keeps him on the national highlight reels nearly every night, and has helped vault these Tigers to first place.
It's just kind of funny, with all the effort that seemingly everyone put into getting Inge to the All-Star game; I guess it sort of feels like we're all going. That "we" were the ones who won this thing. I've never seen anything like this before.
All the bloggers pushed every reader to vote while the Tigers threw in a contest for voters offering an on-field experience. They even struck a deal with the Phillies to market Inge and Victorino together. There were tales of people voting 500-600 times each, which helped in effectively crashing MLB.com.
It really is overwhelming.
It was a total group effort from the team to the fans to put Inge on that plane to St. Louis. The Little Inge that Could, did. Our Special Little Guy is an All-Star. We did that for him.
After all he has given to us over the course of his career, it was the least we could do.
I've never been more proud to be a Tigers fan.
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