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In the final moments before Thursday’s waiver trade deadline, Justin Verlander made a career-changing and life-altering decision. The 13-year veteran accepted a trade to the Houston Astros after spending the entirety of his professional and potentially Hall of Fame worthy career developing with and playing for the Detroit Tigers.
The trade will afford Verlander another chance to play in the postseason and achieve the one major goal that’s eluded him: winning the World Series. It will also benefit the Tigers, as they’ve been able to take another big step in their attempt to rebuild an aging and declining roster.
From a personal and business perspective, it only made sense for both sides. But for Verlander, it also means leaving behind the city and the organization that essentially raised him.
Understandably, the trade has stirred a lot of emotions within Verlander. He did his best to control those emotions while delivering a heartfelt thank you and goodbye to Detroit on Instagram.
Here’s the full text of Verlander’s message to Detroit:
“Firstly, I want to thank everyone here in Detroit, from the front office to all of my teammates, and especially the fans. The way you guys have treated me over the last 12 years has been so special to me. Going all the way back to 2006, when this city was in turmoil, I remember the way everybody rallied around our team going to the World Series that year, what it meant to the city, and what a special time [it was] in my life.”
A kind gesture that we’re sure Detroit and Tigers fans would be happy to reciprocate.
Verlander also had a message for Houston, which he knows is currently going through a crisis much bigger than baseball.
“I’m excited to go to Houston. It’s another city in turmoil right now, as everybody knows. I’m excited to give the city something to rally around, something to cheer for and root for, and hopefully we can bring a championship to Houston.”
Baseball’s return to Houston on Saturday won’t fix everything as Houston and the surrounding areas recover from Hurricane Harvey. Neither will Justin Verlander’s arrival or the potential of a World Series championship coming there this fall. But baseball can and most certainly will do its part to bring people to together to help the healing process, and you can safely bet Justin Verlander will be a huge part of it.
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