Justin Verlander, Kate Upton
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Verlander has enjoyed a storied career in Major League Baseball, with a resume that includes two World Series titles, three Cy Young Awards and three no-hitters. However, his story of meeting his wife Kate Upton didn’t occur anywhere near the baseball field.

Verlander and Upton quickly became one of the most well-known celebrity couples in both sports and entertainment. They’ve been together for a decade, with a young daughter who was born in 2018. However, none of that would’ve happened if not for an endorsement deal and commercial Verlander did for a company that is no longer associated with America’s pastime.

  • Justin Verlander career stats (ESPN): 3,342 strikeouts, 3.24 ERA, 1.12 WHIP in 3,325.1 innings pitched

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In an interview with MLB Fits, Verlander told the story of how he met Upton for the first time years before they became an item publicly.

“I was on the cover of MLB 2K12. They hired me to legitimize the game and they hired her to sell the game, is the way I think about it. We did the commercial together for the show, met then and the rest is history.”

Justin Verlander on how he met Kate Upton (H/T Jomboy Media)
  • Justin Verlander contract earnings (Spotrac): $398.466 million

Verlander was on the cover of Major League Baseball 2K12, which was released in March of that year. At the time, 2K Sports was hoping it Sony Interactive Entertainment’s “MLB The Show” to become the top baseball video game. In the MLB 2K12 commercial, Upton played the role of host of the “Perfect Club” which was for pitchers who threw a perfect game. Verlander, who still hasn’t thrown a perfect game a decade later, couldn’t get past Upton.

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The MLB 2K series lasted shorter than Verlander and Upton’s relationship. After 2K Sports released its first MLB video game in 2005, the series came to an end with 2K13.

  • Kate Upton net worth: $20 million

While Verlander’s face on the cover of MLB 2K12 wasn’t enough to save the video game series and 2K Sports might not have paid him a ton for it, he got the best out of the deal. Years later, the happy couple is living their best life.

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