Inge's homer brings up a heartwarming tale

If you were watching the Tigers telecast tonight, you might have noticed what looked like a tattoo on Inge’s right arm. It was actually an autograph Inge got from a patient he visited at Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, and it was quite a thrill for Tommy Schomaker and his family.

Schomaker, 8, was born with a heart condition and has had numerous surgeries since birth. He was on the list for a heart transplant around the time Inge visited the hospital a few weeks ago. Suddenly, doctors found a heart for him, and he was rushed into surgery. Unfortunately for him, it was right around the time Inge was visiting, and he really, really wanted to meet Inge, who agreed to stop by again to see him.

Inge visited the hospital again Tuesday and saw Schomaker, who’s apparently doing very well a few weeks since receiving his new heart. Inge was signing one autograph after another for him when Inge said he wanted his autograph on his arm, so that he could get it on TV. So Schomaker wrote his first name, Tommy, in big letters on Inge’s right arm, where he doesn’t wear any wristbands or anything. You can see part of it on the photo here.

Thanks to Inge’s home run, Tommy’s autograph got a lot of air time Tuesday. Inge didn’t promise a homer or anything, but it ended up being a nice bonus.

14 Comments

Having worked most of my adult life with University of Michigan Hospital, of which Mott is affiliated, and having my own children treated there, as I’m sure some of you have, I can really appreciate this.
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This story was reported on Mario and Rod’s broadcast tonight, I believe during Brandon’s first AB. My wife and I were wondering if he could actually hit a homer in this game, ala the famous Babe Ruth story or the scene in “Pride of the Yankees.” Darned if he didn’t do it.
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Homerun or not, I can’t fathom how there are any people out there who don’t like Brandon Inge. Besides his acts such as the one with Tommy, anyone who has seen him work an autograph line in spring training knows that here is someone who truly likes and relates with people, and I can think of no better representative for his team and the entire state of Michigan. And I hope Joe Madden can get him on the All-Star team.
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–Rich

Yeah, there aren’t too many guys in baseball better than Inge. I’ve had problems with his fans who wanted to treat him like he’s a hall of famer, his act last spring training, and the fact that the team gave up on many lesser players than him in the past, but I’ve always found it hard to actually not like him.

Now that’s he’s having a good season, I could see him quickly moving up the list of my Tigers. At the least, he’s a loyal, valuable member of the Tigers family and the community, and there’s something to be said for that.

Being at the game I didn’t know this story until I read it here this morning. I have heard many stories about Inge and his wife and the things that they have done at that hospital for the children staying there. (Not only money, but time) Way to go Brandon another good job on and off the field.

Great story Jason, thanks for shining the light on all the good Brandon does. What a great guy to take the time to cheer up these kids. I sure hope that little boy got to see the homerun, and I hope someone gets him a copy of this picture – truly awesome.

I guess I’m the Chairman for Inge for Hall of Fame, bit it’s good for everyone to see the Brandon Inge I have known since he was a Senior in High School. As most of you have read before, he played baseball 40 miles from where I live. Our own high school coaches worked with him in Commonwealth Games and other All Star venues. It hurt last year when many Bloggers accused Brandon of being selfish. Nothing was further from the truth. His ego was shattered, and he asked to be traded, and all that, but he has always been the consumate team player. I’m thrilled for his plus season on the field, but still more thrilled that everyone is beginning to see what a class act of a human being that he truly is. He was a true superstar in high school, but all you ever saw was the boyish grin, and a love for this game that we call baseball.
Greg

Thanks for sharing that Jason. It just doesn’t get any better than that. Tommy will have a story to tell for the rest of his life, and with his new heart may it be a long one. I can’t fathom the privilege it must be to be in a position to bring so much joy to kids’ lives. It must be just as big a thrill for Brandon. Well done Brandon, well done.
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Right now, and not just because of this story, if I were to pick the one position player who is leading the Tigers’ success this year, he is Brandon Inge. You may disagree but you’ll have a hard time making your point. In terms of defensive strength at his position, overall production, and clutch, Brandon is number one.

Brandon is a wonderful representative of the Tigers organization as well as a quality human being. I’ve always been a huge fan of his on-field talent, but as I hear more stories like this I can’t help but be proud that he’s a Tiger. I’m sure that this is just one of many similar stories from not just Brandon, but other guys on the team that we never hear about. I hope Tommy was able to see the homerun, and I wish him a speedy recovery!

I was one of those people who was never fond of Brandon Inge. I just didn’t like his attitude and that’ since day 1. I hated the way he pouted last year. Also, he wouldn’t listen to anyone about hitting. When I heard this spring that he had contacted McClendon over the winter to help him with his hitting, I believe he overcame some emotional barrier of some sort or just plain grew up. He humbled himself and now he’s one of my favorite Tigers.

pup6969- You and I must have been watching different players, because I’ve never seen this “attitude” you’ve assigned to Brandon from day 1. I believe he has always represented himself and the Tigers in a very professional manner. Amd from my seat, he’s always appeared humble.
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As far as last year, he had his position taken away from him (as well as the majority of his playing time) and was forced back to a position he really didn’t want to play. I’ve seen other professional athletes handle similar situations much worse. What didn’t you like, that he asked to be traded? What’s wrong with wanting to actually earn your salary by playing and contributing every day? Emotional barrier? Please.
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I’m glad you’re finally on the Brandon Inge bandwagon. Too bad it took so long.

If I can’t express my feelings without being criticized, then so be it. Since I’ve been a Tiger fan for over 50 years and watch every game, I’ve had a long time to evaluate Brandon. Too bad it took him so long to finally take Lloyd McClendon’s knowlege and use it. That being said I’ve always thought he was a great 3rd baseman. Maybe I should not have used the words “emotional barrier” and substituted it for “stubborness”. I never criticized your remarks on a personal level and I hope you’ll do the same with mine!

I own an Inge jersey and have enjoyed watching him over the years. He has had a good year so far and deserves to be on the all star team. I have heard a lot of good stories about him in the past and this one is moving. I can see how fans have mixed opinions on him. If he was catching this year, he would not be hitting this way. Catching always took a toll on his offense. I would have asked for a trade last year if I was him. I do think he handled that situation with class. At road games I do not see him working the authograph line. I have no problem with that as I understand players all have there routine. I did see him as Rich stated in the Spring working the lines. He does still express a kid like attitude playing the game and I have heard JL does not like to rest him because his hyperness drives him nuts on the bench. I am glad he is a Tiger.
Mark

I have been an Inge fan for several years. The first time I saw him make one of his trademark knockdowns followed by a bullet-like throw across to nip the runner, I knew he was my kind of infielder. For my 64th birthday in 2007, my then 19-year old nephew got me an Inge jersey, which was my favorite birthday present. When the Tigers were in DC for interleague play last year, one of the guys at church gave me two tickets in the third row behind the visitors dugout so that I could see my Tiges, and particularly Brandon, up close. It was a thrill. Last night’s home run was a big thrill, and it got bigger once I knew the story about Tommy. But nothing I have seen so far impresses me nearly as much as the wonderful things Brandon and his wife have done at U of M Hospital with their generous philanthropy. I live in Brandon’s home state of Virginia, so I don’t get to too many Tiger games, but I will be there with bells on Saturday July 25th…hope he hits another dinger then!

As a parent of a terminally ill child I was touched by the story about Brandon Inge. My son spent a day in the dugout with the Orioles’ Brian Roberts before a game. It was an unforgettable experience that will boost our spirits and help us to cope with tragedy. It would not have mattered if Inge struck out four times. What he did for that child will leave lasting memories

Best wishes to Papierfamily in your difficult time. There was a nice story about Inge on TBS prior to the Yankees game, very touching. – JP

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