Major League Baseball’s trade deadline is Thursday afternoon, and rumors are swirling about the Detroit Tigers’ fate.
As we await the decision making, let’s celebrate the team’s pitcher, Justin Verlander.
Besides throwing two no-hitters, he has a model girlfriend, and multiple TV gigs.
Here’s what you need to know about the multitasking athlete.
1. He’s Dating Kate
Justin Verlander needs to lift his gaze. And then he needs to take Kate Upton's surname and become …Justin Upton. pic.twitter.com/jpTeizKouI
— Dan Bickley (@danbickley) May 15, 2014
Although he refrains from talking about his highly publicized relationship, Verlander is dating Sports Illustrated model Kate Upton.
At Game 7 of the Bruins-Canadiens series in May, he took his eyes off the hockey game and onto his girlfriends assets, sparking comments and pictures on Twitter, like the one above.
On August 4 , he tossed Upton a ball to her front row seat, and she happily caught it.
In October, he told GQ:
I keep my personal life out of it, man. I don’t talk about that stuff. There’s no revenge for anything that’s necessary. Kate and I… there’s nothing to talk about.
2. He Eats Taco Bell Before Every Game
In the interview above with Conan O’Brien, Verlander talked about his pre-game rituals.
One, that involved fast food, had the host surprised.
The night before he pitches, he munches on Taco Bell- three crunchy Taco Supremes, a Cheesy Gordita Crunch and a Mexican Pizza.
When GQ confirmed this, he answered, “Yeah, every game, man. It worked pretty well for me the last few years, so one okay season isn’t going to change everything. You know, I stayed healthy for over 200 innings and over 200 strikeouts, so you know, it’s the Indian, not the arrow.”
3. His Kindergarten Teacher Wanted Him on Ritalin
In the interview with ESPN, shown above, we learn about the gifted athlete’s beginnings.
As a child growing up outside of Richmond, Virginia, he always had an overabundance of energy.
“My first day of kindergarten, my teacher called my parents and said, ‘He needs to be on some sort of medicine. He’s way too high strung,'” he told the sports site.
His parents knew that “all that energy would turn into something great one day.”
4. He Does Funny Commercials
In this video, we see Justin dressed up as Randy Johnson, trying to enter The Perfect Club, reserved for pitchers who have thrown perfect games.
The clip ran as a television ad for the video game MLB2K12.
Verlander, who has done other spots for the video game, thinks the commercials convey his funny side.
I’m pretty jovial. I like to make fun of myself. I like to make fun of other people, all in jest. I’m a pretty relaxed guy and I think it was important to convey that…If I was going to do my first big commercials, I wanted it to be me and not some image of what I might envision myself as.
5. He’s a Gamer
— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) August 3, 2014
Growing up, I played Ken Griffey, Jr. Baseball and just whatever I could get my hands on. When I was really young, I was a big fan of Mario and that type of stuff. I still play videogames now so it was really cool for me to be able to play as myself on 2K6 or 2K7 I believe it was, when I was a rookie. I got beat around a little bit, so I stopped playing. Now I play first-person shooter games like Call of Duty.