A run-in with the Indians’ super-sub

Joe Gartrell

Joe Inglett and Rudy

Credit: John Proppe

The arena at Akron was packed last night, and so was press row. Press row was so jam packed, in fact, that there wasn’t even room for the Stater sports editor – I’m the Stater sports editor.

So with my stat sheets and my pens, I spent the game standing beside the Akron student section – a surprisingly G-rated group. Of course, there were a few “Kent State sucks” chants, but at least they weren’t chatting, “Kent State ******* sucks.”

But that’s beside the point. I’d like to tell you about a funny situation that happened just before halftime. This probably occurred because one of the security guards at the game happened to be a girl I graduated with from Dover High School and hadn’t seen since that sweet day in 1999.

She was on the left side of the Akron student section, and then over on the right side, where I stood, I recognized a guy in the last courtside seat. I was sure he was this guy, Rudy, one of my oldest brother’s more entertaining friends. Rudy, by the way, was wearing the same coat my second-oldest brother got me for Christmas.

At one point, Rudy spotted someone in the Akron student section and came over to exchange handshakes, or maybe it was a low five. When Rudy turned to head back to his VIP seat, I tapped him on the back.



It was then clear that this wasn’t Rudy, but still, this was a familiar face.

“Oh, Joe Inglett!”

Yes, this was Joe Inglett, the Cleveland Indians’ super-small super-utility player.

He acknowledged that yes, in fact, he was Joe Inglett, and then I babbled some explanation, and he was pretty nice. And, you know, he could have taken offense, thinking I called him Rudy in reference to the super-small, super-sucky Notre Dame football player.

Here’s how nice Inglett is: When I was still under the impression that he was Rudy, and not a professional baseball player, I noticed that he buried his hands in his face when a fan’s promotional half-court heave – the fan would have won two airplane tickets – bounced off the back of the rim.

So halftime came, and on my way to talk about the first half with our men’s basketball beat writer, Deanna Stevens, I tapped Inglett on the back again.

“Joe,” I told him, “I bet you’re the only one here who’s hit a home run against Justin Verlander.”

Joe Gartrell

Joe Gartrell once hit two home runs in the same inning of a little league game. This semester, he’s the sports editor at the Stater.