RVA native Justin Verlander takes the mound tonight in the World Series

Born in Henrico, raised in Goochland, graduate of ODU, Justin Verlander is taking the skills he honed in Central Virginia out west to San Francisco, where he will pitch in Game 1 of the World Series.

Later tonight, the Detroit Tigers will take the field at San Francisco’s AT&T Park in Game 1 of the World Series. On the mound for the Tigers will be 29-year old Justin Verlander, last year’s American League Cy Young Award winner and MVP. In his eight years of professional baseball, Verlander has been named Rookie of the Year, pitched a no-hitter, been voted an All-Star, and pitched in a World Series game.

Verlander was born 1983 in Henrico, but grew up in Goochland County. His father, Richard, served as president of the Communication Workers of America, Local 2201 based in Richmond.1 In his early teens, Justin attended the Richmond Baseball Academy.

After graduating from Goochland High School, Verlander went on to Old Dominion University. In 2003, the local pitcher set a single-season CAA record by striking out 139 batters. He broke that record the following year with 151 strikeouts.

In 2004, Verlander, who commands a 100mph fastball, was drafted by the Detroit Tigers as the second overall pick in the MLB draft. Two years later, Verlander became the first rookie pitcher in baseball history to win 10 games by the end of June. He finished his first full-year as a Tiger with a 17-9 record and 3.63 ERA, becoming that year’s AL Rookie of the Year. In 2008, he inked a five-year, $80 million contract extension with the Tigers.

Tonight’s appearance marks the first time the Tigers have returned to the World Series since 2006 when they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. The last time the Tigers won the World Series title was in 1984.

Game 1 of the 2012 World Series will be broadcasted at 8:00 PM on FOX:

  • Local channel 11
  • FiOS HD channel 511
  • Comcast HD channel 213

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  1. Richard and his wife, Kathy, have authored a book on being a baseball parent titled Rocks Across the Pond

photo by Keith Allison

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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