DETROIT -- A thousand Major League hits is a nice milestone. A thousand hits with the Tigers is something just 29 players have accomplished. Brandon Inge doing that, after the ups and downs of his career, is something else.
The standing ovation Inge received from the fans at Comerica Park after his fourth-inning single during the Tigers' 9-1 win on Tuesday made it bigger than he expected.
"That was pretty cool," Inge said after the game. "I didn't think it was going to be like that. I was blown away by that. I'm not going to lie, it gave me chills -- big time. I was expecting to fly under the radar."
Inge got to the 1,000-hit mark while topping the 150-hit mark in a season only once. That was in 2005, his first year as the regular third baseman after parts of four seasons at catcher. He lost his third-base job when Miguel Cabrera arrived after the 2007 season, only to regain it by season's end. There were two different times in his 10-year career with the Tigers in which he was expected to be traded, and there were questions lately whether he could end up being dealt to a contender.
The longest-tenured current Tiger is a free agent this winter, and doesn't know what will happen from there. But he's glad he was around long enough for this.
"For me, you don't find that sense of loyalty in this game, because players are traded all the time," Inge said. "That's just how it works. I'm so appreciative that I was able to stay here with this organization the entire time, that Mr. Ilitch and this organization stood behind me for a long time. I'm glad I got them all here.
"It sounds corny, but I consider Michigan home to me. I know I didn't grow up [here], but I've been here so long, Michigan's basically home to me, and this organization is like one big family. I'm glad that I was able to produce to get to 1,000, and at the same time, I'm very appreciative they gave me the opportunity."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.