May 11, 2021

The Baseball 100: No. 75, Justin Verlander (The Athletic)

Starting in December and ending on Opening Day, we at The Athletic will count down the 100 greatest baseball players by publishing an essay on a player every day for 100 days. In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as “Moby Dick.” Yes, we know it’s nutty. We hope you enjoy.

Let’s go back, if we can, to a spring day in 2001. An 18-year-old Justin Verlander and his father, Richard, sit in their home in Goochland, Va., and wait for the phone to ring. It is the day of the Major League Baseball amateur draft. There is some excitement buzzing as people wonder if the Twins will take college superstar pitcher Mark Prior (they do not; they take hometown hero Joe Mauer instead).

Father and son feel like Justin could be a lot like Mark Prior.

They are hoping for it to be a very good day.

And the funny thing is: It probably ended up being the best day they could have possibly had. But it will not feel like that in the…

Read “The Baseball 100: No. 75, Justin Verlander” at The Athletic