Peanut-throwing fan nearly gets into fight with Brandon Inge and minor league team

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

We've all seen (or heard) that fan who gets a little too excited about heckling athletes. Most times, nothing happens. The players just take it, because it's part of their job. Sometimes, the players slyly respond.

There was nothing sly about what went down at Tuesday's game between the Indianapolis Indians and Toledo Mud Hens, the Triple-A teams for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers, respectively.

A fan was ejected from the stadium and almost got into a fight with the Indians bench after he spent innings pestering Brandon Inge. Inge, interestingly enough, is a former Tiger who played with Toledo on many occasions. He's currently trying to play his way back to the big leagues with the Pirates. An ex-big leaguer in the minors is, of course, prime heckler bait.

Here's what happened, via the Toledo Blade:

According to eyewitness reports, in the early innings of the contest the unidentified fan was throwing peanuts at the Indians’ Brandon Inge ... Before the fifth inning began, the fan came to railing on the far side of the Indianapolis dugout and exchanged words with Inge. A number of Inge’s teammates came to his defense, with several attempting to jump the railing that separated them from the fan. The fan was escorted out of the ballpark but attempted to throw beer on the Indians before leaving.

As someone many states away who only read about these events and holds no vested interest in Inge or either team, I'll say this: It sounds like the fan needed to cool out. Heckling is one thing. Pegging a player with peanuts repeatedly is a different level of disrespect.

Kudos to Inge, a 12-year veteran, for not totally losing it. Because this headline could very well have read "former big leaguer wallops fan." Kudos to Inge's teammates for having his back, but not going all Jorge Soler on the fan. And kudos to security for giving the dude the heave-ho.

UPDATE: Jerry Sands, one of Inge's teammates, has been suspended for a game after going into the stands toward the heckler.

BLS H/N: Larry Brown Sports

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