Perhaps the greatest success of Verlander’s career, however, came off the baseball diamond.
The 37-year-old settled down and got married to stunning supermodel Kate Upton, forming one of sports’ most recognizable power couples.
Justin Verlander’s Wife Kate Upton
Justin Verlander and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kate Upton reportedly met in 2012 when they were filming a commercial and hit it off.
The pair began dating casually before eventually tying the knot in 2017 at a church in Tuscany, Italy. In 2018, the couple welcomed their first child, Genevieve Upton Verlander.
Their relationship has not been without controversy, however. In 2014, Verlander’s phone was hacked, and nude photos of the pair were leaked onto the Internet. It was already a low point in Verlander’s life, as he had been battling a shoulder injury at the time.
Upton told Bleacher Report the incident helped them grow stronger as a couple, and Verlander credits Upton with saving his baseball career.
In 2020, Verlander announced that he and Upton would be making donations to coronavirus charities amid the pandemic, aiming to offer assistance to first responders and healthcare workers who have put their lives on the line to combat the outbreak of the virus.
Justin Verlander made his Major League Baseball debut in 2002 as a member of the Detroit Tigers.
Verlander was the Tigers’ ace for 13 years, and was a Cy Young Award winner in 2011, as well as taking home the AL MVP. Verlander dealt with various injuries in the latter half of his Tigers tenure, and one ESPN writer even suggested his best role may be coming out of the bullpen as a reliever in order to increase his longevity.
Verlander disagreed, and finished runner-up for the Cy Young award in 2016, placing ahead of Corey Kluber and just behind Rick Porcello.
In 2017, Verlander was traded to the Houston Astros in a blockbuster deal.
Back in the playoffs, Verlander was dealing and made two starts against the Boston Red Sox in the American League Divisional Series. He then made two more starts against the New York Yankees in the ALCS, before helping take down the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series.
During the World Series, Verlander recorded 14 strikeouts through 12 innings of work, capping off a heroic postseason for the Astros’ ace.
Verlander and the Astros made it back to the World Series in 2019, but were defeated by the underdog Washington Nationals in a shocking upset.
The Astros and Verlander agreed to a contract extension in the 2019 offseason that would pay him $66 million over two years. Unfortunately, Verlander was sidelined after his first start last year and was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery.
While Verlander is hoping to be back on the mound in 2021, he’ll be rehabbing and building up strength alongside his loving wife, Kate Upton.