Friday, October 29, 2010

Major League Baseball Players Recognize Detroit Tigers Brandon Inge as Man of the Year and Austin Jackson Rookie of the Year

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New York, NY, Friday, October 29, 2010 … In a season marked by extraordinary performances on and off the field, Major League baseball players today bestowed their highest honors on two players – Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is Player of the Year and Detroit Tigers infielder Brandon Inge is the Marvin Miller Man of the Year. The Major League Baseball Players Trust will honor Gonzalez and Inge, the top Players Choice Award winners, with donations of $50,000 each to the charities of their choice. The Awards announcements were made this morning on the Mike & Mike in the Morning show during the finale of ESPN Radio’s exclusive five-day Players Choice Awards broadcast special presented by Majestic Athletic and 2K Sports and benefiting the Major League Baseball Players Trust.

Gonzalez, 25, helped keep the Rockies postseason hopes alive for most of the season with an offensive performance worthy of one of the game’s rising young superstars. In a career-high 145 games played this season, he led all National Leaguers in average (.336), hits (197), and total bases (351). Playing in just his third Major League season, Gonzalez finished second among National Leaguers in RBI (117) and slugging percentage (.598), third in runs (111) and fourth in homers (34). Earlier this week, Gonzalez captured his first-ever Players Choice Award when he was named the 2010 National League Outstanding Player. The Players Trust will contribute a total of $70,000 to the charity (or charities) of his choice in honor of his two Players Choice Awards.

Inge captured the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, named for the founding executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association and awarded to the player whose on-field and off -field performances most inspire others to higher levels of achievement. Inge displays as much passion to give back to others as he shows on the diamond as one of the game’s most sure-handed infielders. Inge, 33 and a 10-year veteran of the Detroit Tigers, works closely with C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Inge frequently visits C.S. Mott and other local hospitals to form lasting bonds with children and their families. In 2007, Inge and his wife, Shani, made a $100,000 donation to Mott Children’s Hospital to help fund a pediatric cancer infusion center. On the field, this season Inge finished with 127 hits, including 28 doubles, in 144 games. In 1,226.2 innings played, Inge committed just nine errors to give him the third-best fielding percentage (.977) among all AL third basemen.

The Players Choice Awards annually honor the outstanding player, rookie, pitcher and comeback player in each league, while the Player of the Year and Man of the Year awards bestow top honors without regard to league. Balloting for the Players Choice Awards was conducted in September under the supervision of accounting firm KPMG.

2010 Players Choice Award winners in all categories will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 from the Major League Baseball Players Trust, the charitable foundation created and run by the players themselves. (Individual League winners receive $20,000 grants while Player of the Year and Man of the Year receive $50,000 grants.)

The Players Trust raises funds and attention for issues affecting the needy and promotes community involvement. Since 1992, the Players Trust has recognized the outstanding on-field and off-field performances of Players Choice Awards winners by contributing $3 million to charities around the world.
2010 Players Choice Awards Finalists: (Winners in bold/underline)

Austin Jackson (R) 2010 A.L. Rookie of the Year
Photo by Mathew Harding / In Play! Magazine

American League:
Outstanding Player: Jose Bautista (Toronto), Miguel Cabrera (Detroit), Josh Hamilton (Texas)
Outstanding Pitcher: Felix Hernandez (Seattle), David Price (Tampa Bay), CC Sabathia (NY Yankees)
Outstanding Rookie: Wade Davis (Tampa Bay), Neftali Feliz (Texas), Austin Jackson (Detroit)
Comeback Player: Freddy Garcia (Chicago White Sox), Vladimir Guerrero (Texas), Francisco Liriano (Minnesota)

National League:
Outstanding Player: Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado), Albert Pujols (St. Louis), Joey Votto (Cincinnati)
Outstanding Pitcher: Roy Halladay (Philadelphia), Ubaldo Jimenez (Colorado), Adam Wainwright (St. Louis)
Outstanding Rookie: Jaime Garcia (St. Louis), Jason Heyward (Atlanta), Buster Posey (San Francisco)
Comeback Player: R.A. Dickey (NY Mets), Tim Hudson (Atlanta), Aubrey Huff (San Francisco)
Brandon Inge MLB 2010 Man of the Year
Photo by Jennifer MacPherson / In Play! Magazine
Either League:
Player of Year: Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado), Josh Hamilton (Texas), Joey Votto (Cincinnati)
Man of the Year: Torii Hunter (LA Angeles of Anaheim), Brandon Inge (Detroit), Troy Tulowitzki (Colorado)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


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Third Baseman Agrees to Two-Year Contract with a Club Option for 2013 Season 

Detroit Tiger Brandon Inge
Photo By Matthew Harding / In Play! Magazine

DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers today announced the club has agreed to terms with third baseman Brandon Inge on a two-year contract with a club option for the 2013 season.

Inge saw action in 144 games with the Tigers during the 2010 season, batting .247 (127x514) with 28 doubles, five triples, 13 home runs and 70 RBI. He topped all American League third basemen with a .977 fielding percentage during the season. “The Tigers organization is pleased to announce the signing of Brandon today,” Tigers President, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager David Dombrowski said. “Brandon is one of the top defensive third basemen in the game and a quality individual we are proud to have as a representative of the organization.”

Selected to the American League’s all-star squad in 2009, Inge has hit .237 (1028x4337) with 201 doubles, 36 triples, 136 home runs and 564 RBI in 1,297 games during his major league career with the Tigers since making his major league debut during the 2001 season.

The longest-tenured current Tigers player, Inge is currently fourth in franchise history with 898 games played during his career at third base. He trails only Aurelio Rodriguez (1,236 games), Don Wert (1,036 games) and Tom Brookens (979 games) in games played at the position in Tigers history.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


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Detroit -- In Ernie Harwell’s final year, the famed broadcaster had several conversations with best-selling author Mitch Albom about doing a theatrical play based on Harwell’s life. Although Harwell died before the work could be completed, the idea will finally blossom and reach the stage next March. Just in time for the new baseball season, Detroit’s City Theatre will host the world premiere of “Ernie” – Albom’s brand new play based on the life of the legendary voice of baseball.

“Ernie’s story transcends sports,” Albom says. “It is a story of 20th century Americana, a tough upbringing through the Depression, a true love that lasted 70 years, a World War, a fascinating career, and of course, behind it all, baseball. Ernie is a rich and wonderful subject for the stage.”

While working on the play this summer, Albom thought about the City Theatre, where he had staged previous work (including the hit play “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel.”) Albom was intrigued with its proximity to Comerica Park – just across the street - where Harwell broadcast during the last years of his career. “The idea that people could see a play about a baseball icon, then walk across the street and see actual games on the same field where he called them – well, it just seemed fitting to Ernie’s story,” Albom said.

“We are pleased that “Ernie” will premiere at the City Theatre,” said Michael Ilitch, owner of the Detroit Tigers and chairman of Ilitch Holdings, Inc, which owns the theater. “Ernie meant so much to so many and he is synonymous with baseball, the Detroit Tigers and the State of Michigan. We know Mitch’s play will be a wonderful tribute.”

Albom knew Harwell for 25 years, and wrote regularly in the Detroit Free Press about the man’s unique hold on those who listened to him. The theatrical play (at the moment, being written as a two-man show) will chronicle Harwell’s life and times, and capture much of the homespun wisdom for which the Hall of Fame broadcaster became famous. It will also incorporate sound and footage from Harwell’s 60-plus year career in baseball.

Casting for the show – including the actor who will play Harwell – will begin in November.

“Ernie and I had talked about a play for many years, and had always hoped Mitch might find the time to author it,” said S. Gary Spicer, Harwell’s longtime friend and attorney. “And a venue near the ballpark is ideal. Ernie would be very happy that this is finally becoming a reality.”

A portion of all proceeds from the show will benefit charities that Harwell championed. The play will be independently produced. “Although we will audition the role of Ernie on a national basis, my hope is to use as many Michigan people as possible, from actors to director to stagehands,” Albom said. “We have wonderful creative talent right here in our back yard.”

Interested parties, for now, can send inquiries to

Plans call for the show to open with previews in late March 2011 - with a premiere closely tied to Opening Day in Detroit which is scheduled for April 8, 2011. On Tigers game nights, the show may offer early performances that allow the theatergoer to see the play and still make the first pitch.

Albom, best known for his international best-sellers like “Tuesdays With Morrie” and “The Five People You Meet In Heaven” (both adapted into award-winning TV films) has also penned several highly successful plays. He authored the theatrical version of “Tuesdays With Morrie” (with Jeffrey Hatcher) that opened off-Broadway in 2001 and has since seen more than 100 productions across the U.S. and around the world, including Japan, Switzerland, Israel, Australia and China. Albom also wrote two comedies “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel” and “And The Winner Is”, which both debuted at the Purple Rose Theater in Chelsea and rank as the highest grossing shows ever produced there. Both plays have had numerous national productions.