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The Detroit Tigers are taking on the New York Mets at the beginning of a three-game series at Comerica Park. And it also marks the return of former Tigers starting pitchers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, both of whom were two of the best players in team history and remain well-regarded by the fans.
Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer remember their time in Detroit fondly
Both pitchers spoke with media members this afternoon prior to the series opener tonight, and it's clear that both of them continue to hold fond memories of their time in the Motor City.
“It was one hell of a run,” Verlander explained. “From the Cinderella story of '06 to going deep into playoffs every year, Mr. I was doing anything he could to put an unbelievable product on the field. What a time for the Tigers. You said glory days. Felt like that as a player, too.”
Verlander, who began the season on the IL, will be making his Mets debut tonight on the mound at Comerica Park.
“It's fun being here, obviously some very cherished memories of my career,” Verlander said of being back at the ballpark he called home for years. “Seeing some old friends and just being here, man. It's funny how baseball works…here I am, my first start as a Met in Detroit.”
Verlander's career in Detroit came to a close in 2017 when he was traded to the Houston Astros in exchange for Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron and Jake Rogers; he was a part of the Astros World Series-winning teams of 2017 and 2022. He left Houston this offseason, signing a deal with the Mets.
Meanwhile, Scherzer's tenure in Detroit came to a close when a stalemate in contract negotiations became too much to overcome; he went on to sign a mammoth $210 million deal with the Washington Nationals after rejecting what he felt was a lowball offer from Detroit of a reported $144 million. He also earned a World Series ring, helping the Nats to the 2019 title. He was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2021, and later signed a free-agent deal with the Mets.
“A lot of great memories here,” Scherzer said. “The five years I was here are arguably the best five years in the recent history of the Tigers, and to be part of that run was awesome. We had just good teams and players. This is where I developed and came into my own, and as I reflect on it, it was a huge five years of my career.”
Wrapping It Up – Both former Detroit aces will forever be a part of Tigers lore
The Tigers spoiled their fans with what would be a decade of competitive baseball and countless great memories.
While it's a shame that they weren't able to achieve baseball's ultimate glory during that stretch, the contributions of both Verlander and Scherzer wearing the Old English D will forever be a part of Tigers lore.