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Card: 2019 Topps Gallery #81
Player Bio: Justin Verlander
Justin Brooks Verlander (born February 20, 1983 in Manakin-Sabot, VA) is a professional baseball pitcher for the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has also played in MLB for the Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros. Justin’s maternal grandmother is Olympia Caponi. Olympia’s parents were Italian. He is often regarded as one of the most accomplished players of his generation.
Justin attended Old Dominion University (ODU) and played college baseball for the Monarchs. He broke the Monarchs' and Colonial Athletic Association's career records for strikeouts. At the 2003 Pan American Games, Verlander helped lead the United States national team to a silver medal.
The Tigers selected Verlander with the second overall pick of the 2004 MLB draft. He made his major league debut with the Tigers in 2005 playing there for 12 years as the ace in their starting rotation, as a key figure in four consecutive American League (AL) Central division championships (2011–2014) and two AL pennants (in 2006 and 2012).
He is among the career pitching leaders for the Tigers, including ranking second in strikeouts (2,373), seventh in wins (183), and eighth in innings pitched (2,511). The Tigers traded Verlander to the Astros before the 2017 trade deadline, and he went undefeated in his first five starts heading into the postseason. He was named ALCS MVP, and was co-winner of the Babe Ruth Award as the Astros won the 2017 World Series.
In 2018, Verlander became the 114th pitcher in major league history to earn 200 career wins, also becoming the 20th-fastest to reach the milestone (412 starts). In 2019, he became only the sixth pitcher in MLB history to throw three career no-hitters (2007, 2011, 2019) and struck out his 3,000th batter, becoming the 18th pitcher in major league history to do so.
Accomplishments: Verlander is a nine-time MLB All-Star and has led the AL in strikeouts five times, and in wins three times. He was the AL Rookie of the Year in 2006, and in 2007 pitched the first no-hitter at Comerica Park versus the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2009, he led the AL in wins and strikeouts, both for the first time. Verlander produced his most successful season in 2011, including his second career no-hitter versus the Toronto Blue Jays. By season's end, Verlander won the Pitching Triple Crown, the AL Cy Young Award unanimously, the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, and the Sporting News Player of the Year Award.
In 2019, Verlander had his first career 300-strikeout season and won his second Cy Young award while leading the Astros to their second pennant in three seasons.
Having not recorded a statistic in 2021 due to injury/recovery, Verlander made his way back on April 9, 2022, against the Los Angeles Angels, for the first time since Opening Day 2020. In 2022, Justin earned his ninth career selection to the All-Star Game, which took place at Dodger Stadium. Per STATS, LLC, he became the first pitcher in history to have reached or exceeded each of the following as of an All-Star break: 2.00 ERA, 12 wins, .800 winning percentage, .200 batting average against, 0.900 WHIP, and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5.00.
Verlander concluded his 2022 campaign with an 18–4 record, 1.75 ERA, and 185 strikeouts in 175 innings pitched. He led all the Major Leagues in ERA, WHIP (0.829), and BAA (.186) while leading the American League in wins. He won his first ERA title since his 2011 MVP campaign while setting a career-best, and posted the lowest qualifying ERA over a non-shortened season in the AL (excluding 2020) since Pedro Martinez' 1.74 mark in 2000. He was selected for a third Players Choice Award for AL Outstanding Pitcher, and first for AL Comeback Player.
In Game 5 of the 2022 World Series Justin allowed 1 earned run over 5 innings pitched. The Astros would end up winning 3-2, giving Verlander his first career World Series win and 16th postseason win (2nd most in MLB history after passing John Smoltz). The Astros would go on to defeat the Phillies in six games giving Verlander his second World Series ring. For his amazing season, he was awarded the 2022 AL Cy Young Award.
(excerpted from Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)
Justin Verlander is part of the MVP/Cy Young Tour – Go To The Next Stop
Justin is also part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Justin is also part of the Detroit Tigers Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Justin is part of the MLB Current Players Tour – Go To The Next Stop
See Justin’s baseball cards at TCDB
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