Anniversaries, typically, are meant to be celebrated. This, however, is one Brandon Inge would like to let pass without a word of remembrance.
Sorry, Brandon. No dice.
This marks 10 years since Inge participated in his only Major League Baseball Home Run Derby. He famously was skunked at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
No home runs. Ouch.
"I'm 100-percent going to hit more than zero," Inge said with a laugh during a phone interview with The News on Wednesday.
On Saturday, Aug. 17, at C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek, Inge is hosting an all-day fundraiser for the ChadTough Foundation, with the all-day event featuring a morning skills competition, then an evening Home Run Derby.
Inge will participate in the Home Run Derby along with several other former major-leaguers, as well as 12 regular Joes or Janes who qualify during the afternoon round.
Two regular Joes/Janes will be paired with a former major-leaguer, among those participating: Inge and three former Tigers teammates, Craig Monroe, Nate Robertson and Mike Hessman; and former major-league pitchers Steve Avery (Taylor) and Josh Collmenter (Homer).
Inge already has a plan so nobody will get shut out. Well, two plans.
For starters, aluminum bats. And then, each participant will start with one home run, a "gift" from the late Chad Carr, who captured the hearts of Michigan and the nation before his death at age 5 in November 2015. Carr courageously battled Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, a rare form of brain turmors for which there is no current cure.
"Chad's going to grant everyone one home run off the bat," Inge said. "I don't want parents to see their kids get no home runs.
"I've already been through it. It's not fun."
The inaugural fundraiser is called Dingers For DIPG, a cause dear to the Inges' heart.
Inge's wife Shani was Chad Carr's godmother. Shani Inge, through her work at Michigan Hospital, became good friends with Chad's mother, Tammi Carr, who was working at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.
"We kind of became best-friend families," Inge said.
On Aug. 17, the day will start with a youth skills camp, led by Inge, who played for the Tigers from 2001-12, and recently returned to Michigan full-time as a youth baseball instructor in Metro Detroit.
Then, in the afternoon, there will be a Home Run Derby qualifier, followed by the evening Home Run Derby and a concluding fireworks show.
The skills camp is basically sold out, but tickets remain for the rest of the festivities, starting at $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. There also are VIP ticket options, which will include meet-and-greets with Tigers Hall-of-Famer Alan Trammell and former pitching coach Jeff Jones, plus all-you-can-eat-and-drink status.
This is the latest fundraising effort for the wildly growing ChadTough Foundation, which already has raised millions since the death of Chad, the son of Tammi and Jason, and grandson of former Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr. Lloyd also will attend the event.
"The one thing that still sticks with us, and everyone who's dealt with DIPG cancer, this disease, is that when the doctors tell the moms and dads of the kid that he's been diagnosed with DIPG and there's a zero-percent chance of survival, that's the part that is frustrating," Inge said. "There's been progress made, but that's just a bad diagnosis."
Not that you would've known it watching Chad Carr battle the disease for 14 months.
"Always smiling, man," said Inge, 42. "He was an awesome kid. I know it's the worst of times he was going through, but if you put an adult in some of the situations that poor little kid was in, they'd be whining about it. But that kid always had a smile on his face. He was fearless. He was absolutely fearless. He was probably the strongest one of everyone that had to deal with that stuff."
Dingers For DIPG
When: Saturday, Aug. 17, starting at 8 a.m.
Where: C.O. Brown Stadium, Battle Creek
Format: There will be a youth skills camp in the morning, for kids ages 8 to 14, followed by an afternoon Home Run Derby qualifier, and the evening Home Run Derby. The fundraiser will conclude with a fireworks show.
Participants: Brandon Inge, Alan Trammell, Jeff Jones, Craig Monroe, Nate Robertson, Mike Hessman, Steve Avery, Josh Collmenter, Trevor Thompson
Proceeds: Will beneft the ChadTough Foundation
Tickets: $75 for skills camp; $20 in advance and $25 at the gate for the day's activities, with free admission to kids 5 and younger. Available at dingersfordipg.com.