Welcome to Little League® - Baseball, Softball and Challenger

Partners & Offers

 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2009 > May - August > Parents of Detroit Tigers’ Third Baseman Brandon Inge Chosen as 2009 Little League Parents of the Year

Parents of Detroit Tigers’ Third Baseman Brandon Inge Chosen as 2009 Little League Parents of the Year

Parents of Detroit Tigers’ Third Baseman Brandon Inge Chosen as 2009 Little League Parents of the Year


Playing four different positions in his nine seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Brandon Inge has shown his versatility, adaptability and willingness to do whatever is asked to help the team. Brandon’s parents, Dwight and Linda, shared and promoted many of those same qualities during their years as volunteers in the Lynchburg (Va.) Little League.

In recognition of the Inge’s enduring support and commitment to their children and the Little League program, they will be honored as the 2009 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year at the 63rd Little League Baseball World Series later this month in Williamsport, Pa.  

Since joining the Tigers as a rookie in April 2001, Brandon has remained focused and dedicated to the game, but her son’s respect for the game during his journey to the Major Leagues is the telling story, Mrs. Inge said.

“I don’t know what Brandon would be doing without baseball,” Mrs. Inge, a former Assistant District Administrator for five years in the Lynchburg area, said. “He’s so focused. His motto is, ‘I can only do what I do best, and what’s out of my control I can’t worry about.’”

Playing nearly 1,100 games with the Tigers, seeing time at catcher, in the outfield, and currently as Detroit’s starting third baseman, Brandon has maintained an open mind and positive outlook, because at an early age his parents instilled a sense of balance in him, and his younger brother, Jason.

“I’ve never seen a kid as competitive as Brandon during a game, but after the game was over he was always willing to shake hands with the opposing players,” Mrs. Inge said. “My husband coached the boys and he was so good with the kids. He coached by teaching, and was not so much about winning and losing. It was always fun for all of them, because he taught them to respect the game, respect the players and umpires and that is what made me the most proud.”

A good attitude has played a large role in Brandon’s career with the Tigers, which included a trip to the 2006 Major League Baseball World Series, and has yielded nearly 900 hits and 500 runs batted in, and more than total 1,400 bases. This year, he has hit 19 home runs, driven in 54, scored 48 runs, and was selected by fans to participate in his first Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

The Inges have always been an active family, and both boys played competitive baseball through their college years. Brandon attended Virginia Commonwealth University, and was drafted by the Tigers in the second round of the 1998 amateur player entry draft, while Jason played four years at Averett University in Danville, Va.

“Both of our boys loved playing Little League,” Mrs. Inge said. In Brandon’s case, he talked about playing in the Majors even before he started playing Little League.

“Brandon was six or seven years old and we were in the kitchen talking about what he wanted to do,” Mrs. Inge said. “He said. ‘I want to play Major League Baseball.’ I patted him on the head and said, ‘OK.’

“Every day he went out and did something to get better,” Mrs. Inge said. “It was never work for Brandon. He was just on a beeline to do what he loves to do. We didn’t have to push either of the boys to play, they both loved baseball. For us, Little League became a family outing all of the time.”

Remaining close with his parents, and brother, Brandon’s mother thinks her son is destined to return to his roots and coach Little League. Brandon, and his wife, Shani, have two boys, Tyler (4) and Chase (2).

Brandon and his dad speak on a regular basis, and Mrs. Inge said they have always been good about talking things out, whether the topic is on the field, or off.  “It’s always nice to hear what Dad has to say and somehow that always fixes it,” Mrs. Inge said.

Page 1 of 2
1|2|next >