Brandon Inge

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Posted by motoman 04/16/2009 @ 09:07

Tags : brandon inge, baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
Willis takes major step in comeback -
"There was a point when I looked over at [shortstop] Adam [Everett]," third baseman Brandon Inge said, "and I said, 'He's back. It looks like he's back now.' I remember catching him last year, and pitch by pitch, if you take away the location,...
Gerald Laird still searching for answers to slump - The Detroit News
In the throes of a 1-for-36 slump, catcher Gerald Laird shaved his head on Wednesday. Rather, he had Brandon Inge do it for him -- which led to some momentary comic relief for Laird. "He came to 'Haircuts by Inge,' " said the Tigers third baseman....
Brandon Inge homers as Tigers beat Royals -
by Alan Eskew AP PhotoDetroit's Brandon Inge, right, gets congratulated for his two-run homer in the second inning by teammate Miguel Cabrera. KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Armando Galarraga gave Detroit a quality start and Brandon Inge hit a two-run homer as...
7 Comments | Sorted by Most Recent First | Red = You Disagreed - FanIQ
The 3rd baseman of Detroit is Brandon Inge...and his first week of 2009 has him playing at the highest level of any third sacker.!! **homer alert! homer alert!** but in truth, with a non-biased view, Wright has the youth, the skills, and the potential...
American League Game Capsules - Sports Network
Brandon Inge and Adam Everett both knocked in a pair and Jeff Larish also had an RBI in the setback. Neither starting pitcher factored in the decision, as Glen Perkins went 5 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on as many hits for the Twins....
Porcello, Larish lead Tigers over Tribe - Detroit Free Press
Larish's home run was followed by a Magglio Ordoñez double, a Brandon Inge single and a walk by Gerald Laird. Adam Everett then sacrificed to left field to score Ordoñez and Curtis Granderson singled home Inge and Laird. The Tigers scored a run in the...
Comfort level helps Inge settle in -
By Jason Beck / DETROIT -- One of the quirks of Brandon Inge's new hitting approach is the angle of his bat towards the pitcher as he awaits the delivery, a mechanism that he says keeps itself in line. If Inge's hands fall out of position,...
Play by play - USA Today
Runner on second with two outs and Brandon Inge due up. Out: Brandon Inge flied out to right to end the inning. Single: Melky Cabrera singled to right. Runner on first with none out and Jose Molina due up. Out: Jose Molina flied out to right....
Inge off to fast start for Tigers -
By Jason Beck / DETROIT -- Brandon Inge had always tailored his approach at the plate as a see-ball, hit-ball hitter, going more on feel than analysis. Three weeks into the season, he's back to going on feel. Instead of having to think about...
Tigers' Brandon Inge has top batting average against Indians ace ... -
by Steve Kornacki CLEVELAND -- Detroit Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge batted sixth Friday night against the Cleveland Indians with catcher Gerald Laird getting a start off, but Leyland said he's not considering moving up Inge (.278, 8 homers,...

Brandon Inge

Charles Brandon Inge (born May 19, 1977 in Lynchburg, Virginia) is a Major League Baseball third baseman currently playing for the Detroit Tigers. He bats and throws right-handed.

Sportswriter Jayson Stark described Inge as a "super-utility dervish." In 2006, his diving stop and subsequent throw from his knees to put out Gary Bennett in an interleague game, on June 25 against the St. Louis Cardinals earned him the ESPN defensive play of the year for a third baseman.

Inge attended the Virginia Commonwealth University, where he was a shortstop and relief pitcher. He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1998.

Initially assigned as a catcher, Inge struggled offensively in his first three seasons. After the Tigers signed free-agent Iván Rodríguez in 2004, Inge played in the outfield, catcher and at third base, batting .287 with 13 home runs that season.

He started 159 games at third base in 2005, leading all MLB third basemen in assists (378) and double plays (42). In 2006, Inge exceeded his 2005 totals with 398 assists. That number broke the Detroit Tigers single season record for assists by a 3rd basemen (previously 389 by Aurelio Rodriguez in 1974) and was only 14 short of the all time MLB record for assists by a third basemen (set by Graig Nettles in 1971). Only five third basemen (including Graig Nettles, Brooks Robinson, and Mike Schmidt) have collected more assists in a season than Inge.

In 2006, Inge showed a lot of power during the first half, his 17 home runs tied for the team lead, but batted for an average of only .221. His slugging percentage was .463 and he also placed third on the Tigers with 47 RBIs. After the All-Star Break, he raised his average to .253 and finished with 27 home runs.

Inge became expendable at third base after the Tigers acquired Miguel Cabrera in a blockbuster trade with the Florida Marlins. Inge asked management to trade him to a team where he would have a chance to be an everyday player. However, a deal was never made, and the team stated that he would be used as a utility player for the 2008 season. Inge reported to spring training early with the pitchers and catchers. He was named the opening day center fielder after Curtis Granderson was placed on the disabled list.

With the absence of backup catcher Vance Wilson, Inge began alternating catching duties with 13-time Gold Glove winner Iván Rodríguez. On June 26, he was placed on the 15-day disabled list. On July 7, he made his rehab assignment in AAA Toledo. On July 10, he was activated from the DL.

Inge took over the catching position full time after Iván Rodríguez was traded to the New York Yankees on July 30, 2008.

On September 27, Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced that he would move Inge back to third base for the 2009 season.

Inge opened the 2009 season by hitting a home run in each of the Tigers' first three games.

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Iván Rodríguez

Rodríguez during a Tigers/New York Mets spring training game on March 11, 2007.

Iván Rodríguez Torres (born November 30, 1971 in Manatí, Puerto Rico), commonly nicknamed "Pudge" and "I-Rod", is a Major League Baseball catcher for the Houston Astros. In his career, he has played for the Texas Rangers, Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers, and New York Yankees. He is ranked as one of the greatest defensive catchers in the history of the major leagues. Rodríguez was awarded the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player Award in 1999.

Rodríguez won the World Series with the Marlins in 2003, and also played in the 2006 World Series while with the Tigers.

Iván Rodríguez was born in Manatí, Puerto Rico, and raised in Vega Baja. His father, Juan, worked for a U.S.-based construction company, and his mother, Eva Torres, was an elementary school teacher. Iván's first job involved delivering flyers in the shopping malls in Puerto Rico. He learned baseball at an early age, his biggest rival being Juan González, who he often played against in his youth. As a Little League player, he moved from pitcher to catcher because his father, who was also his coach, thought he was throwing too hard and scaring opposing players with his pitches. Rodríguez attended Lino Padron Rivera High School, where he was discovered by scout Luis Rosa. Rosa reported that "he showed leadership at 16 that I’d seen in few kids. He knew where he was going." Rodríguez signed a contract with the Texas Rangers in July 1988, at the age of 16, and began his professional baseball career.

Rodríguez made his professional debut in 1989 at the age of 17 as catcher for the Gastonia Rangers of the South Atlantic League. In his first game, Rodríguez had three hits in three at bats (3-for-3) against Spartanburg. Playing in the Florida State League in 1990, Rodríguez was selected the best catcher in the league and named to the all-star team. He placed 15th in the league in batting at .287, and led his team in runs batted in, with 55. He also played in the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League (LBPPR) over the offseason.

When Rodríguez made his major league debut with the Texas Rangers on June 20, 1991, he became the youngest person to catch in a major league game that season. He immediately established himself as an excellent hitter who was also proficient in throwing out would-be base-stealers. In fact, no other catcher in the past 35 years of the League has been as successful at this aspect of the game, with Rodríguez throwing out 48% of attempted basestealers through May 2006. This was far more than the runner-up during this period, the late Thurman Munson. He started many of the Rangers games at the end of the season, including 81 of the last 102. Rodríguez became the youngest player in the history of the Texas Rangers to hit a home run, on August 30, 1991 in a game facing the Kansas City Royals. Rodríguez hit the home run off right-hander Storm Davis. He was named to the Major League Baseball (MLB) Rookie all-star team by both Topps and Baseball America and finished in fourth place in the American League Rookie of the Year voting. He also placed first in throwing out runners, catching 48.6 percent of runners attempting to steal.

In 1992, Rodríguez started 112 games behind the plate and was the youngest player in the major leagues for the second year in a row. Playing in the Puerto Rico Winter League, he had a .262 batting average playing in 17 games for Mayaguez. In the 1993 season, Rodríguez batted .273, had 66 runs batted in and hit 10 home runs, ranking fourth, fifth, and fifth on his team respectively. He had a stretch of eight straight hits over two games facing the Kansas City Royals on July 26 and July 28. He played the final month of the regular season in the Puerto Rican Winter league, where he had a .425 batting average and 14 runs batted in for Mayaguez. Rodríguez was named to the Puerto Rican Winter League all-star team and was also the league Most Valuable Player (MVP).

In 1994, Rodríguez led the American League in batting average among catchers, at .298. He placed high on his team in many statistics, placing second in batting average (.298), tied for third in doubles (19), and fourth in hits, total bases, runs, home runs, walks, games, and at bats. He also caught Kenny Rogers' perfect game on 1994-07-28. Rodríguez played in the Puerto Rican Winter League over the winter, but he suffered a severe knee injury which kept him from playing for the rest of the season.

Playing for the Rangers during the 1995 season, Rodríguez led his team in batting, total bases, and doubles, at .303, 221, and 32 respectively. He was named the Texas Rangers' player of the year. Rodríguez also had his first multi-home run game while playing the Boston Red Sox on July 13, hitting both off all-star pitcher Roger Clemens. He also played for Caguas in the Puerto Rican Winter League during the offseason.

In 1996, Rodríguez set an MLB record for most doubles by a catcher, amassing 44 doubles over the course of the season. This broke the previous mark of 42, set by Mickey Cochrane in 1930. He also set the major league record for at-bats by a catcher in a single season, with 639, which surpassed Johnny Bench's record of 621 in 1970. He led the Texas Rangers in doubles, at bats, hits, and runs scored. He was selected to the Major League Baseball All-Star team that played a series in Japan against the Japanese all-stars after the season was over. He again played in the Puerto Rican Winter League this season. In the 1997 season, Rodríguez also placed first among catchers in many categories in Major League Baseball. These categories were hits, runs, runs batted in, and doubles. He placed second in home runs among catchers, below only Sandy Alomar, Jr. of the Cleveland Indians, who had 20 home runs. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated on the week of August 4. This marked the fourth time a player from the Texas Rangers had been on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Rodríguez played in the Puerto Rican Winter League yet again, where he had a .285 batting average, 4 home runs, and 18 runs batted in over the course of 32 games playing for Caguas.

In the 1998 season, Rodríguez led the Texas Rangers in batting average at .325, which placed eighth in the American League. He also had 75 multi-hit games and 186 hits, finishing seventh and ninth in MLB respectively. He finished second on the Rangers in hits, total bases, triples, total bases, and slugging percentage. Rodríguez was third on the team in doubles, home runs, and stolen bases, and fourth in runs batted in. He had his 1000th in a game facing the Cleveland Indians on May 10 of that season. Rodríguez also became the first catcher in the history of Major League Baseball to have two or more seasons with 40 or more doubles. He was selected to the American League All-Star Team again, and he was also named to all-star teams by the Associated Press, The Sporting News, and Baseball America.

In 1999, Rodríguez was selected American League MVP by Major League Baseball. That season, he set a new record for home runs in a single season among catchers, with 35. This record was later broken by Javy López of the Atlanta Braves in 2003, who hit 42. Rodríguez was also the first catcher to have more than 30 home runs, 100 runs batted in, and 100 runs scored in the history of Major League Baseball. In addition, he holds the distinction of being the first catcher in the history of the league to amass more than 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. From May 8, 1999 to June 1, 1999, Rodríguez had a career high 20 game hitting streak. He had 25 stolen bases, which was fifth most among catchers in the history of the league. He led the league in times grounded into a double play, with 31. Rodríguez was only the ninth catcher in the history of Major League Baseball to win the Most Valuable Player award, and he was the first to win it since Thurman Munson in 1976. He was named on all of the ballots, getting seven first place votes and six second place votes. Rodríguez was the sixth Puerto Rican to win the award, and the fourth player from the Texas Rangers to win it. He also won the Silver Slugger Award for the sixth time in a row and was selected Most Valuable Player by Baseball Digest. He was again named to all-star teams by the Associated Press, The Sporting News, and Baseball America.

In 2000, Rodríguez appeared in just 91 games, which was the fewest that he appeared in since his first season in the league, 1991. On July 24, Rodríguez suffered a season-ending injury in a game against the Anaheim Angels. While trying to make a throw to second base, his thumb made contact with the swing of Mo Vaughn's bat. He fractured his right thumb and underwent surgery the next day. This injury caused him to miss the rest of the season. Even though he was injured, he was still named to the second-team of the Baseball America Major League Baseball All-Star Team. Rodríguez returned to full action in 2001 and had another all-star season. He was selected to his ninth straight MLB All-Star Game in a row, which tied the all time record set by Johnny Bench. He also tied Bench's record of ten straight Rawlings Gold Glove Awards in a row. He batted .308, making 2001 his seventh straight season with a batting average of over .300. He had 25 home runs, 136 hits, and 65 runs batted in. Rodríguez's final year with the Texas Rangers came in 2002. His .314 batting average was seventh best among American League players. This was his eighth season in a row with batting average of .300 or above. He also had 32 doubles, 2 triples, and 60 runs batted in while playing in 108 games for the Rangers. Rodríguez was placed on the disabled list on April 23 after suffering a herniated disk on April 15. The injury did not require surgery, and he rehabilitated while playing for class A Charlotte. He later returned to the Rangers and played there for the remainder of the season. After the 2002 season his contract with Texas ran out and he became a free agent.

Before the 2003 season Rodríguez signed with the Florida Marlins for one year. By then a major-league veteran of over a decade, he helped lead the young team to victory in the World Series. Rodríguez's played his first and only season with the Florida Marlins in 2003. Over the off-season, he was signed to a one year deal with the Marlins after his contract expired with the Texas Rangers, and he opted out of the contract for free agency. During the 2003 regular season, he set many Marlins single season records for a catcher, such as batting average, at .297, and runs batted in, at 85. On March 31, Rodríguez became the tenth Marlins player ever to hit a home run on the team's first game of the season. On April 8, he set a Marlins single game record by drawing five walks in a game against the New York Mets. He had a career high nine game hitting streak from June 24 to July 2, during which he batted .500 with seven doubles, two triples, and four home runs. From June 24 to July 1, he drove in a run for eight consecutive games, another single season record for the Florida Marlins. In the post-season, he played with Marlins during their second World Series run and was named National League Championship Series Most Valuable Player for the first time in his career. He also closed out the National League Division Series by holding onto the ball during a dramatic game-ending collision at the plate with J.T. Snow in Game Four. He chose not to return to the Marlins the following the 2003 season.

Before the 2004 season Rodríguez signed with the Detroit Tigers. In 2004, he was selected to the MLB All-Star Game for the 11th time in his career and for his 10th time as a starting player, joining Johnny Bench and Mike Piazza as the only Major League Baseball catchers to start an All-Star game 10 times or more in their career. He also won his 11th consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Award, making him the first player on the Detroit Tigers to win the award since Gary Pettis won it in 1989. He won his seventh career Silver Slugger Award, tied with Víctor Martínez of the Cleveland Indians. He was fourth in the American League in batting average and fourth among all Major League Baseball catchers. On October 1, he recorded his 1,000th career RBI in a game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The 2005 season was another all-star year for Rodríguez. He was selected to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game for the twelfth time in his career, and he participated in the Century 21 Home Run Derby on the day before the all-star game. In the home run derby, he finished second to Bobby Abreu of the Philadelphia Phillies. By the end of the season, he batted .276 with 14 home runs and 50 runs batted in. On October 26, 2005, Major League Baseball named him the catcher on their Latino Legends Team.

In 2006, Rodríguez returned to throwing out runners attempting to steal a base at a very high percentage, as he did in his earlier career; he was first in the league in this category, throwing out 45.7 percent of all runners attempting to steal a base. On May 9, 2006, Rodríguez played first base for the Tigers. That game, a 7–6 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, was the first time that he played a position other than catcher in his 1,914 Major League games. On August 15, 2006, he also made his first Major League appearance at second base after regular second baseman Plácido Polanco was injured in a game in Boston. On April 16, 2007, he batted in 6 runs on the way to a 12–5 victory over the Kansas City Royals. He caught Justin Verlander's no-hitter, the second no-hitter he's caught in his career, on June 12 of that year. In 2007, Rodríguez walked only 1.8 percent of his plate appearances, the lowest percentage in the major leagues. On October 9, the Tigers announced that they were picking up the fifth-year, 13-million-dollar option on Rodríguez's contract, keeping him on the Tigers team through at least the 2008 season. The team could have bought out the option for three million dollars and allowed him to become a free agent.

In spring training in 2008 he led the major leagues, with 8 home runs. He recently got his 2,500th hit. Manager Jim Leyland had said that he would rotate Rodríguez and Brandon Inge at catcher every other day.

On July 30, 2008, Rodríguez was traded to the New York Yankees for relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth. He started most of Yankees games for the remainder of the 2008 season, because the Yankees' former starting catcher, Jorge Posada, was injured. With his customary number 7–which he wore throughout his career up to that point–retired for Mickey Mantle, Rodríguez changed his jersey number to 12.

In preparation for the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Rodríguez returned to the Puerto Rico Baseball League (formerly LBPPR) during the offseason, following ten years of absence. Playing for the Criollos de Caguas, he gathered a batting average of .370 with three runs batted in and one home run in six games during the regular season. Upon leaving the team on vacation, Rodríguez noted that his intention was to return to action if the Criollos advanced to the playoffs. He returned to action in a "sudden death" game for the final postseason space, but the team lost and was eliminated. On January 8, 2008, the Leones de Ponce reclaimed Rodríguez in the last turn of an special post-season draft, where players from eliminated teams were selected to reinforce those that qualified.

Rodríguez represented Puerto Rico in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. He was part of a team that was mostly consisted of Major League Baseball stars, among whom were Carlos Beltrán, Javier Vázquez, Bernie Williams and Carlos Delgado. Rodríguez was one of several Major League Baseball players that announced commitment to represent their birthplaces before the organization of the tournament. He also played for Puerto Rico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and was named to the classic's All-Tournament Team. This team featured MLB stars such as Geovany Soto, Felipe Lopez, Yadier Molina, and Alex Rios along with the players listed for the 2006 team.

Rodríguez married Maribel Rivera on June 20, 1991. That same night, having been called up from Triple A by the Texas Rangers, he made his major league debut, in which he threw out two White Sox would-be base stealers, and got his first major-league hit, a two-run single that capped off a five-run game-winning rally.

Ivan and Maribel have three children: Ivan Derrek (b. 06-05-1992, Amanda Christine (b. 06-21-1995) and Ivanna Sofia (b. 01-12-2000). The family divides their time between Colleyville, Texas, Miami, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In 1993, Iván and Maribel founded the Ivan "Pudge" Rodríguez Foundation whose purpose is to help families in Puerto Rico, Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. Rodríguez has also stated that the Make-a-Wish Foundation is one of his charities of choice.

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VCU Rams baseball

VCU Rams baseball refers to the mid-major NCAA Division I baseball program located at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. This program, established in 1971, is one of 12 participating in the Colonial Athletic Association conference formed in 1983, and possesses an 867-792-5 record with a 155-81 record in-conference (CAA). The head coach for the Rams is Paul Keyes, who has held that post since 1995 when VCU first came into the CAA from the Sun Belt Conference (1987). Keyes's assistant coach since 2001 has been Tim Haynes, who also held that position during the 1991–1992 seasons. Significant past events are: First place CAA finishes in 1997, 1998, & 2003; 2002, 2003, & 2005 CAA Tournament champions, fell in NCAA championship series by 1 run in 10th inning against NC State (4-3); 6 NCAA Tournament appearances since 1996; and an average of 30 or more wins (56 game schedule) in each of the past 11 seasons.

VCU holds distinction as one of only two CAA Tournament teams that has produced a 1-hitter during the tournament, the other being Maika Symmonds of ODU, vs. Richmond, 5-20-95. Ram pitcher, Matt Prendergast, accomplished this feat against George Mason on May 25, 2003. VCU and GMU share the record for most RBI in a tournament with 11 by Brandon Inge, VCU, 1997 (4 games) and 11 by Jeff Palumbo, GMU, 2003 (5 games). The Rams also hold CAA Tournament records for most appearances by a single pitcher with 6 by Brian Marshall in 2002 (1 win, 4 saves), most strikeouts with 17 by Sean Marshall, also in 2002, (3 games, 12.0 IP), and most saves with 4 by Brian Marshall, again in 2002 (6 games).

It is worth noting that VCU has produced several MLB draftees, some of whom have continued on to enjoy successful careers in MLB. Among these are: Brandon Inge (DET, 3B), Cla Meredith (SD, RP), Sean Marshall (CHC, SP), Jason Dubois (BAL, RF) .

In 2006, the CAA was responsible for 28 total draftees, and VCU itself offered 3 - Harold Mozingo (RHP, KC, overall pick #167), Scott Sizemore (2B, DET, overall pick #142), & Michael Gibbs (RHP, COL, overall pick #498). These numbers can be compared with the total draftees presented by both the Southern Conference (12), and the West Coast Conference (24) to see that VCU Baseball has become a respectable contributor to the sport and to Major League Baseball's pool of young talent.

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2006 World Series

2006 World Series Logo

The 2006 World Series, the 102nd edition of Major League Baseball's championship series, began on October 21 and ended on October 27, and matched the American League champion Detroit Tigers against the National League champion, St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals won the Series in five games, taking Games 1, 3, 4 and 5. The Tigers won game 2 amidst the controversy over the apparent foreign substance on Kenny Rogers' hand. This was the third Series meeting between the Tigers and the Cardinals. St. Louis won the first in 1934, and Detroit won the second in 1968; each went the full seven games. The 1968 Series was the last before divisional play and an extra round of playoffs began.

It was only the fifth time in 40 years that the Series featured two teams that had both remained in the same city since the formation of the American League in 1901, the last time being the 2004 World Series between St. Louis and the Boston Red Sox. The last three prior to 2004 were in 1975 (Boston-Cincinnati), 1968 (Detroit-St. Louis) and 1967 (Boston-St. Louis).

The Cardinals, who moved into Busch Stadium in April, became the fourth team to win the Series in their home stadium's debut season, joining the 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates (Forbes Field), 1912 Boston Red Sox (Fenway Park) and 1923 New York Yankees (Yankee Stadium). St. Louis also won their tenth Fall Classic, second to only the Yankees' 26 titles. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who won the 1989 World Series title with the Athletics, became the second manager in history to lead teams in both leagues to championships, joining Sparky Anderson.

The Cardinals finished the regular season 83–78. This is the second-worst record ever for a league champion (the 1973 New York Mets finished 82–79) and the worst record ever for a World Series champion. Previously the 1987 Minnesota Twins (85–77) held this dubious honor after defeating the Cardinals in the 1987 World Series.

Neither team was given much chance to advance far into October by many baseball pundits. Both teams stumbled through the second halves of their seasons. The Tigers, enjoying their first successful season after 12 years of futility, surprised the baseball world by building a 10-game lead in the American League Central, but eventually the lead evaporated in the final months and they lost the division to the Minnesota Twins on the last day of the season after being swept by the last-place Kansas City Royals at home, settling for a playoff berth as the AL Wild Card. The Cardinals held a seven-game advantage in the National League Central over the Cincinnati Reds and an 8½-game lead over the Houston Astros with just two weeks to play. However, the combination of a seven-game losing streak by St. Louis and an eight-game winning streak by the Astros (highlighted by a four-game sweep of the Cardinals in Houston) caused the Cardinals' lead to shrink to ½-game with only a few games left. However, the Cardinals held on to clinch the division after an Astros' loss to the Atlanta Braves on the last day of the season.

Thus, both the Tigers and Cardinals were clear underdogs in their matches, against the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres, respectively. The Tigers' pitching took care of the vaunted Yankees lineup, and won their series 3-1. The Cardinals also won their series 3-1, including the first two games in San Diego. The Tigers then swept the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS, winning game four on a three-run walk-off home run by Magglio Ordóñez in the bottom of the ninth. The Cardinals won their series against the New York Mets with the help of a ninth-inning home run by Yadier Molina in a tense Game 7.

The Tigers had home-field advantage in the Series, due to the AL's 3–2 win over the NL in the 77th Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 11 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. These two teams had already played against each other in June 2006. The Tigers swept the Cardinals 3-0 in Detroit, part of an eight-game Cardinals losing streak. This was the first time since 2000 that teams meeting during the regular season met again in the World Series.

The Series marked the third time in a row that both teams sought to win a championship after at least a 20-year drought. In 2004, the Boston Red Sox ended their 86-year hiatus by defeating the Cardinals; in 2005 the Chicago White Sox ended an 88-year drought by defeating the Houston Astros who were competing in their first World Series after 43 seasons. The Tigers had not appeared in the World Series since winning it in 1984. The Cardinals last won in 1982, losing three times since then, in 1985, 1987 and 2004.

The Tigers were the eighth wild card team to compete in the World Series since MLB introduced the wild card in 1994. A wild-card team participated in the Series from 2002 to 2007.

Riding the momentum they built up during their surprisingly easy ALDS and ALCS victories, Detroit entered the Series as a prohibitive favorite. Bob Nightengale of USAToday expressed popular sentiment when he said "Tigers in three".

St. Louis' manager Tony La Russa joined his mentor, Sparky Anderson, as only the second manager to win the World Series with teams in both leagues. La Russa won in 1989 with the Athletics. Coincidentally, Anderson first accomplished the feat by managing Detroit to their previous championship in 1984. He was chosen to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2. Interestingly, if the Tigers had defeated the Cardinals, Jim Leyland would have joined Anderson for this feat instead of LaRussa as he had already won the 1997 World Series with the Florida Marlins.

Jim Leyland is the seventh manager to win pennants in both leagues. The previous six are Joe McCarthy (1929 Cubs and the Yankee teams of 1932, 1936–39 and 1941–43), Yogi Berra (1964 Yankees, 1973 Mets), Alvin Dark (1962 Giants, 1974 A's), Sparky Anderson (1970, 1972, 1975–76 Reds, 1984 Tigers), Dick Williams (1967 Red Sox, 1972–73 A's, 1984 Padres), and Tony La Russa (1988–90 A's, 2004, 2006 Cardinals).

Additionally, the opposing managers are close friends. Leyland was La Russa's third base coach for the Chicago White Sox in the early 1980s. Leyland also served as a Pittsburgh-based advance scout for the Cardinals before he was hired by the Tigers.

This was the first World Series in 22 years to have two previous World Series-winning managers facing each other, but at the helms of new teams. Leyland previously won the 1997 World Series with the Florida Marlins, and La Russa won the 1989 World Series with the Oakland Athletics. Overall, it was the first World Series since 1999 to have two previous Series-winning managers facing each other.

Two rookies faced off in Game 1 for the first time in history: Anthony Reyes for St. Louis and Justin Verlander for Detroit. It looked like the Tigers were going to get to Reyes early in the bottom of the first, when Craig Monroe doubled and Magglio Ordóñez walked. Carlos Guillén singled Monroe in, giving the Tigers a 1–0 lead. However in the top of the second, Scott Rolen hit a long home run to left field, tying the score at 1–1. Rolen was 0-for-15 in his career in the World Series before hitting the home run. The previous mark had been 0-for-13, set by Benny Kauff of the New York Giants in the 1917 World Series. In the third inning the Cards broke through, first when Chris Duncan's RBI double scored Yadier Molina to give the Cardinals the lead. On Verlander's next pitch, 2005 National League MVP Albert Pujols banged a 2-run home run, punishing the rookie who elected to pitch to the dangerous Pujols, rather than walk him with first base open and two outs and pitch to Jim Edmonds.

Meanwhile, Anthony Reyes was the story. The pitcher who had the fewest regular season wins of a Game One World Series starter (5) at one point retired 17 in a row from the 1st inning to the 6th inning, a World Series record for a rookie. The previous record was 13 (John Stuper, STL, 1982, and Dickie Kerr, CHW, 1919). Reyes' final line was 8+ innings, four hits, two runs, and four strikeouts. The Cards took advantage of Detroit's mistakes again in the 6th, when Brandon Inge made two errors in one play. With runners on second and third, Inge threw to home wild to score a run and then obstructed Scott Rolen, who was running home, to score another run. Craig Monroe hit a solo home run off Reyes in the bottom of the ninth, which led to Reyes being pulled from the game, as Braden Looper came in to finish the game. The final score was 7–2 Cardinals, marking the first time since 2003 that the National League has won a World Series game, and the first World Series game won by St. Louis since Game 5 of the 1987 World Series.

With a starting temperature of 44 °F (6.7 °C), controversy surrounded the start of Game 2 when Tigers starting pitcher Kenny Rogers was found to have a substance on a patch of the palm of his pitching hand during the first inning. Although Cardinals hitters claimed that the ball was doing "weird things" in the first inning, Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa did not request an inspection of Rogers' hand to determine what the substance was. Rogers said it was dirt, and complied with a request from the umpires to wash his hands before the second inning.

Rogers would go on to pitch eight shutout innings, running his postseason streak to 23 straight shutout innings, giving up only two hits. Craig Monroe hit his second home run in the series, and Carlos Guillén, who was a home run away from the cycle, and Sean Casey each drove in runs to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead going into the ninth. Todd Jones then came into the game to close it out but got into a heavy jam, with Scott Rolen being driven in by Jim Edmonds before a force-out at second with the bases loaded won the game for the Tigers. Craig Monroe became the fifth player to hit a home run in each of his first two World Series games. The others were Barry Bonds for the Giants in 2002, Ted Simmons for the Brewers in 1982, Dusty Rhodes for the New York Giants in 1954, and Jimmie Foxx for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1929.

After the Cardinals were shut out by Detroit pitcher Kenny Rogers for eight innings in Game 2, St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter answered with eight shutout innings of his own in a 5–0 Cardinals victory in Game 3. Carpenter, making his World Series debut (he missed the entire 2004 World Series due to injury) gave up only three hits, struck out six and did not issue a walk, while throwing only 82 pitches. Only one Tiger reached second base.

St. Louis began the scoring in the fourth inning on a bases-loaded two-run double by center fielder Jim Edmonds off of Nate Robertson. Two more runs would score in the bottom of the seventh on an error by Detroit pitcher Joel Zumaya, who overthrew a routine ground ball to third baseman Brandon Inge. St. Louis would add another run in the eighth on a wild pitch.

Reliever Braden Looper would pitch a perfect ninth to close out the game and give St. Louis a two-games-to-one advantage in the Series.

The Cardinals became the first team since the Cincinnati Reds in 1970 to host a World Series game in their first season in a new ballpark.

Game 4 was pushed back a day because of rain, the first time a rainout had occurred since Game 1 in 1996. The fans from the game were to attend Game 5 (Which also happened to be the clinching game for the Cardinals). (Thus, fans who had tickets for Game 5 went to Game 4 instead.) The Cardinals won, taking a 3–1 series lead. The Tigers took a 3-0 lead into the top of the third, after Sean Casey had two RBIs, including a home run. The other RBI came from Detroit's Iván Rodríguez, who singled in Carlos Guillén. Rodriguez, who had been hitless in the previous 3 games, also went 3-for-4. In the bottom of the third, the Cardinals struck back with a run-scoring double by David Eckstein, scoring Aaron Miles who had the first stolen base of the series by either team. Yadier Molina doubled in Scott Rolen in the fourth to cut the Tiger lead to 3–2. The score remained that way, until the bottom of the seventh, when Eckstein led off with a double over the head of Curtis Granderson, who had slipped on the wet Busch Stadium outfield. Eckstein then scored on a sacrifice bunt by So Taguchi that was thrown over the head of Plácido Polanco covering first by Fernando Rodney, and that tied the score, 3–3. Later that same inning, Preston Wilson hit a single to left with two outs that scored Taguchi from 3rd. The Tigers tied the game in the top of the eighth on a Brandon Inge double that scored Iván Rodríguez. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Cardinals would regain and keep the lead when Miles scored on a double by Eckstein just off the glove of outfielder Craig Monroe, who had been playing shallow and dove for a ball just out of his reach.

On a day in which it rained much of the day but stopped early enough to not delay the game, the Cardinals won to clinch the championship 4 games to 1, making this the first 5-game series since the Yankees–Mets Series in 2000.

Justin Verlander pitched a sloppy first inning for Detroit, walking three and tying a World Series record for a single inning by throwing two wild pitches. He avoided allowing any runs, however, thanks to a good play by shortstop Carlos Guillén to get the third out on what was almost an infield hit.

The Cardinals took the lead in the second inning on a lead-off single by Yadier Molina followed by two advancing groundouts, and then an infield single by David Eckstein. Detroit third baseman Brandon Inge made a good play to stop the ball off Eckstein's bat, but then made a poor throw to first which got by the first baseman and allowed Eckstein to advance to second. The throwing error was the seventh error of the series by the Tigers, also giving them at least one error in every game to that point.

Cardinals pitcher Jeff Weaver (an ex-Tiger) was cruising into the fourth inning, and he appeared to be nowhere near trouble with a lead-off groundout, followed by a routine popup by Magglio Ordóñez. This popup turned out to be much more troublesome than it first appeared: right fielder Chris Duncan dropped the ball, apparently distracted by center fielder Jim Edmonds who was also going after the ball. With Ordóñez on via the error, the very next pitch of the game was hit by Sean Casey into the right-field seats just inside the foul pole for a two-run homer that gave Detroit the lead, 2–1. The Cardinals would threaten immediately in the bottom of the inning, however, with Yadier Molina and So Taguchi each singling to put runners at first and second with one out. Pitcher Jeff Weaver then came up and attempted to bunt the runners over to second and third. The bunt was fielded cleanly by the pitcher Justin Verlander, but he attempted to force out the lead runner at third and threw the ball into the left-field foul area. This allowed Molina to score to tie it up, with Taguchi and Weaver arriving safely at third and second. Later, Verlander said "I picked it up and said, Don't throw it away, instead of just throwing it. I got tentative." The throwing error by Verlander was the fifth error by Detroit pitchers in the World Series, having committed one per game, setting a new World Series record. (A placard held by a Cardinal fan in the stands read "HIT IT TO THE PITCHER"). The next batter, David Eckstein, grounded out to score the runner from third, and St. Louis secured their lead, 3–2.

Chris Duncan misplayed another ball in the top of the sixth for a Sean Casey two-out double, but this time the runner would be stranded as Iván Rodríguez then struck out to end the inning. A David Eckstein single followed by a Preston Wilson walk in the bottom of the seventh put runners at first and second with none out for the heart of the Cardinals order: Pujols, Edmonds, and Rolen. Pujols popped out and Edmonds flied out, so it appeared Detroit might hold the Cardinals to a one-run lead. Instead, Scott Rolen singled and scored Eckstein, doubling the Cardinals lead to 4–2.

The World Series was televised in the United States by FOX, with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver as booth announcers. The starting time for each television broadcast was 8:00 pm EDT/6:00 pm MDT.

On radio, the Series was broadcast nationally by ESPN Radio, with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan announcing. Locally, Dan Dickerson and Jim Price called the Series for the Tigers on WXYT-AM in Detroit (with retired, longtime Tiger announcer Ernie Harwell calling an inning of Game 1), while Mike Shannon and John Rooney called it for the Cardinals on KTRS-AM in St. Louis. Per contractual obligation, the non-flagship stations on the teams' radio networks carried the ESPN Radio broadcasts.

John Rooney had broadcast the 2005 Series for the Chicago White Sox, and thus became the first announcer to call back-to-back World Series championships as an employee of different teams.

Games 1, 3 and 4 set all-time lows for television ratings, with Game 4 falling 20% from the previous year's Game 4. The Series as a whole was also the lowest-rated ever, with the four games averaging a Nielsen rating of only 10.0 and a share of 17. By contrast, the six games of the 1980 Series--in the pre-cable television era--garnered a record-high rating of 32.8 and a share of 56.

For the first time since 1982, St. Louis has a World Series winner!

And Albert Pujols hits one into deep right field, back, at the wall, it is gone! Two-run shot Albert Pujols with first base open! The Tigers pitch to the MVP, and he makes Detroit pay. It's 4-1 St. Louis here in the third inning.

Eckstein flies one into left, Monroe is...not gonna get it! And the Cardinals lead it 5-4, here in the eighth inning of Game 4!

I don't think anybody . I think we shocked the world.

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Vance Wilson


Vance Allen Wilson (born March 17, 1973 in Mesa, Arizona) is a Major League Baseball catcher for the Kansas City Royals organization. Wilson stands at 5'11" tall, and weighs 215 pounds. He bats and throws right-handed.

Wilson was a high school standout at Red Mountain High School in Arizona and continued his hometown success at Mesa Community College where he tagged a Junior College All-American in 1994.

The New York Mets selected Wilson in the 44th round of the 1993 Major League Baseball Draft, and the catcher signed with the team the following summer after finishing his college career.

After five arduous and injury riddled seasons in the Mets minor league system, Wilson made his major league debut on April 24, 1999, as a defensive replacement against the Chicago Cubs. Wilson's immediate tenure in New York was short-lived however, and he began the 2000 and 2001 seasons with Triple-A Norfolk.

Wilson finally began to play regularly with the Mets in late 2001, assuming the role of back-up catcher behind perennial National League All-Star Mike Piazza. Used as a pinch-hitter and occasional spot-starter, Wilson's greatest value to the Mets was as a defensive replacement who could prevent runners from stealing bases (something Piazza struggled with). From 2001-2004, Wilson ranked amongst the top three National League catchers for lowest opposing stolen base percentage.

The reserve catcher appeared in a career-high 96 games for the Mets in 2003, notching career-highs of 8 home runs and 39 RBI. However, Wilson was hampered by injuries towards the end of the 2004 season, and the Mets dealt him to the Detroit Tigers on January 5, 2005, for second baseman Anderson Hernandez.

In Detroit, Wilson once again found himself behind another perennial All-Star, this time backing up Iván Rodríguez. During the latter half of 2005 he had a short starting stint, calling 22 games for the Tigers with Rodríguez on the disabled list and ineligible list.

He started 2006 once again on the bench as the Tigers began the race for the American League crown. During the summer he signed a two-year extension with the Tigers.

In 2007, he tore a muscle in his right forearm during the last week of spring training and was expected to be on the disabled list for the first half of the season. He reinjured his arm in early June during a rehab assignment. It required Tommy John surgery, ending his season. Minor leaguer Mike Rabelo replaced Wilson as the back-up catcher.

Wilson was expected to be ready for the 2008 season. However, Wilson suffered yet another injury during his rehabilitation during the winter months. He suffered from Plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation in the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes. After Rodriguez was traded to the New York Yankees, utility player Brandon Inge took over as the team's starting catcher in Wilson's absence. Rabelo was traded to the Florida Marlins, leaving the backup catching duties to Dane Sardinha.

Wilson filed for free agency on October 31, 2008, and expressed interest in re-signing with the Tigers.

On January 7, 2009, Wilson signed a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals.

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Source : Wikipedia