How the Detroit Tigers scammed the vote to get Brandon Inge in the All-Star Game

Oct 15, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge (15) before game six of
Oct 15, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge (15) before game six of / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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The All-Star Game voting process has always yielded some very weird/incorrect/hilarious results. One recalls Kansas City Royals fans stuffing the ballot box to get such “stars” as Omar Infante into the ASG. However, what some younger/less aware fans may not know is the Detroit Tigers, too, have played their part in the hilarious history of All-Star voting chicanery.

While many of you are going to be looking at the current All-Star vote and getting mad online at ASG snubs and shout at anything and everything based on how the world is these days, we are going to take a look back at 2009 when a player named Brandon Inge parlayed his status as a Tigers fan favorite, although with a bit of creative ballot stuffing, into an All-Star Game appearance that was probably less than deserved.

Brandon Inge’s 2009 season

Brandon Inge was a long-time Detroit Tiger who put up some really decent seasons for the team thanks largely to being an excellent defender and decidedly medium at best at the plate. One note, Inge probably should have been an All-Star in 2006 when he posted a 4.2 fWAR season with a .253/.313/.463 line with 27 homers. However, we aren’t here to re-litigate that season, but rather we are re-litigating the 2009 season instead.

Other than his defense (which, again, was quite good), Inge was very ordinary in 2009. Over the course of the entire season, he slashed .230/.314/.406 with healthy amount of homers propping up his overall line. Not exactly numbers that scream “All-Star” but certainly not bad, either. So the question now becomes “how did Inge get in?”. First, we have to explain how the first half broke down and who Inge was up against.