HOUSTON — It would be an understatement to say 36-year-old Justin Brooks Verlander is living his best life as he heads to his fourth World Series. And baseball is just one part of his fairy tale.
Verlander may be the only Major League player whose wife is just as famous as he is.
He married 27-year-old supermodel Kate Upton in Italy a few days after the Astros won their first World Series in 2017.
As if that wasn't perfect enough, the couple has an adorable 11-month-old daughter named Genevieve. She was with mom in New York watching daddy beat the Yankees in Game 4.
Upton is a regular at hubby's games and was at Game 6 when the Astros clinched the ALCS.
But it wasn't always rainbows and unicorns.
In an August 2018 feature in Bleacher Report Magazine, Verlander talked about how his wife pulled him out of a dark place four years before. He says she was crucial to shaping him into the pitcher he had become.
Show me the money!
Verlander can easily afford the couple's jet-setting lifestyle of private planes, flashy cars and world travel. He signed a contract extension in March that keeps him an Astro through 2021. At the time, CBS Sports reported the deal was worth $66 million, a record contract for a pitcher in terms of average annual salary.
According to Spottrac.com, his contract includes a full no trade clause and several incentives for various achievements and awards.
- Cy Young: $200,000 ($175,000 for 2nd, $150,000 for 3rd, $125,000 for 4th, $100,000 for 5th)
- All-Star: $75,000
- WS MVP: $100,000
- LCS MVP: $75,000
- Gold Glove: $75,000
Forbes ranks Verlander as No. 61 among the world’s highest paid-athletes in 2019.
According to MoneyInc.com, Verlander’s current net worth is an estimated $85 million. That is up from the $60 million in 2016.
He's worth every penny
Verlander has pitched in the Big Leagues for 15 seasons but he shows no sign of letting up.
He threw his third no-hitter in September and is a contender for his second Cy Young Award.
The eight-time All-Star was ALCS MVP in 2017 and regular season AL MVP in 2011. More awards and accolades.
He has said he hopes to pitch into his 40s.
Verlander has supported several charities throughout his baseball career.
He and Upton share a love for animals and they host an annual Grand Slam Adoption Event at Minute Maid Park to raise awareness for local pet adoption agencies.
After Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Verlander organized the Wins for Warriors Foundation. The non-profit launched a grant program to provide financial assistance to military and veteran families impacted by the hurricane. Verlander himself donated $100,000 for the grants and committed his playoff share to Wins for Warriors.
What were they thinking?
And we close with a sincere thank you to the Detroit Tigers who traded Verlander to the Astros in 2017.
The Astros gave up some cash and a player to be named later, along with prospects CF Daz Cameron, RHP Franklin Perez and C Jake Rogers.