Former Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers outfielder Riccardo Ingram passed away after a lengthy battle with brain cancer at the age of 48 on March 31. Ingram was born in Douglas, Georgia on September 10, 1966.
Riccardo Ingram was a fourth round selection by the Detroit Tigers in the 1987 June amateur draft and made his major league debut with the Tigers on June 26, 1994 in Oakland-Alameda County Stadium as a pinch-runner for Cecil Fielder as the Oakland A’s beat the Tigers 10-5. Ingram appeared in a dozen games for the Tigers that season and then left the Tigers organization as a free agent after the 1994 season and signed with the Minnesota Twins. Ingram’s time with the Minnesota Twins in July of 1995 was brief and he appeared in just four games and had one hit and one RBI in eight at bats. Ingram left Minnesota after the 1995 season and spent 1996 with the San Diego Padres AAA Las Vegas Stars team before retiring after the season ended.
Ingram was offered and accepted a minor league coaching position with the Twins organization after retiring as an active player and spent the next 18 seasons coaching and managing in the Twins system. Ingram managed the GCL Twins, Fort Myers Miracle, and the New Britain Rock Cats and was well liked by his players and members of the Twins organization. alike Ingram was apparently a great story-teller and fun to be around. In 2009 Ingram suffered from severe headaches and was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the prognosis was grim as doctors gave him just a year to live. Ingram battled the brain tumor for a year before returning to coaching in the Twins system. Ingram was a coach for the Fort Myers Miracle in 2014 but as the year progressed he learned that his cancer had returned.
“Every year, he used to meet with our pitchers,” said Eric Rasmussen, who was Ingram’s pitching coach with the Miracle in 2005 and is now the Twins minor league pitching coordinator. “He’d gather them all together, and he’d say: “You have got one job to do. Throw the ball over the plate.” “And then he’d leave.”
Before becoming a professional baseball player, Ingram was a star football and baseball player at Georgia Tech and is a member of the Georgia Tech’s Sports Hall of Fame. He was the first Georgia Tech player to be named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s male athlete of the year. He was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference defensive back in 1986 before leading the Yellow Jackets to the 1987 ACC baseball championship.
Riccardo Benay Ingram is survived by his wife, Allison, and their two children – Kacey and Kristen. RIP Riccardo Ingram, you will be missed.