In 2004, Justin Verlander was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the first-round of the Major League Baseball Draft. From that moment, until Aug. 31 of this past season, he grew into one of the most beloved athletes in Detroit sports history.
But all good things must come to an end and that’s exactly what happened at the Major League Baseball trade deadline when Verlander was traded to the Houston Astros for a trio of prospects. It was a move many Tigers fans feared would happen and a move that JV had to approve since he had a full no-trade clause in his contract.
Though Verlander loves Detroit and admitted it was a “difficult” decision to leave, it’s a move he felt was a “no-brainer.”
From Detroit Free Press:
“There’s so much history in Detroit for me,” he said. “I grew up in front of those fans. They’ll always have a special place in my heart and I’ve had a lot of love from Detroit since I left and I’ve appreciated all of it and I think they understand and I think everybody understands it.
“They are what made the decision so hard. If it was truly a baseball decision, it’s a no-brainer. It’s an easy decision. But the way that city has treated me since I got there and how I felt so connected to them is what made the decision so difficult.”
With the Tigers going into re-build mode, Verlander knew that his opportunity to win a World Series was now and that helped him make his final decision.
“To have this chance is what it ultimately came down to for me, personally,” Verlander said. “And I think most of my fans in Detroit understood that.”
As we know, JV’s decision to head to Houston worked out perfectly for him as he and his teammates clinched the World Series by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in an epic 7-game series.
For those of us who rooted hard for Verlander throughout the playoffs, it worked out (almost) perfectly for us too.