Ex-Tiger Justin Verlander donating next two months' pay to those in need

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Justin Verlander is going to get paid, but he's not planning on pocketing the paycheck.

Verlander, the current Houston Astros and former Tigers ace, announced Saturday that for the next two months, as MLB players get paid an advance on their salary during the league's shutdown, he plans to donate the entire lot to organizations in need of funds.

Justin Verlander

The Associated Press reported this week that MLB vets will earn $4,775 per day in advance pay for the next two months, for a total of $286,500.

Verlander said the first donation will go out when he receives the first check.

"Obviously, this is an extremely difficult time for the entire world," Verlander said in the Saturday Instagram post, his wife Kate by his side. "There are so many people that are in need, whether it's those that are on the front lines battling this disease head on or someone who's at home and has lost their job and needs to provide basic necessities, like food and water."

Upton said the couple plans to pick one organization every week "who's doing really good work right now" and donate the entire week's check to that organization. It'll be a different organization each week.

Upton, 27, also said they will highlight that organization on social-media channels, in an effort to drum up additional support from around the country.

Sports stars have been a consistent force being philanthropy over the past month, as the sports world has almost completely come to a halt amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Saints quarterback Drew Brees pledged $5 million toward helping New Orleans, while locally, Pistons star Blake Griffin has donated $100,000 to help pay arena employees out of work.

Verlander, 35, now is the latest. It's his latest charity effort, having founded the Wins For Warriors foundation when he was with the Tigers. He's entering the first year of a two-year, $66-million extension with the Astros, whenever MLB starts back up — the league hopes for sometime in June.

"Everybody," said Verlander, "stay safe out there."


Twitter: @tonypaul1984