The blonde bombshell bride-to-be is a Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl and actress, admired for her obvious natural talents. The groom-to-be is a future Hall-of-Fame pitcher, admired for his strikeout ability and … his fiancé.
Yes, Detroit Tigers’ stud starter Justin Verlander realizes: “I’m in a good place, on and off the field.” Supermodel Kate Upton earlier this year finally accepted a marriage proposal from Verlander, who accompanied the moment by presenting an envious engagement rock.
Over the past three years, Verlander, 33, and Upton, 23, have ridden an emotional roller-coaster of creating a modern relationship in the public eye. Here’s the boxscore: They united, Verlander proposed and they broke up. They got back together again, Verlander proposed again and they broke up again. The number of times Verlander proposed has not been disclosed, but the All-Star pitcher whiffed on each early pitch. Despite Upton being linked with other interests during the couple’s hiatus, Verlander stayed in the game. After she finally said “yes,” the couple recently closed on a Beverly Hills mansion once owned by musician Kenny G.
Yet, despite the couple’s fame, Verlander insists: “We’re just normal people. You know, normal relationship – believe it or not.” They initially met during a commercial shoot for a video game, MLB 2K12, when Upton ordered Verlander to be hauled off for pretending to be Randy Johnson. That’s normal?
To the couple’s credit, when romantic rumors initially surfaced, Verlander and Upton attempted to keep it out of gossip blogs. From the onset, they attempted to stay clear of paparazzi, but did not shy away from going out dancing or attending a series of sporting and social events. That is normal, right?
Showing a cute side, Upton recently uploaded an Instagram clip of Verlander signing Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and commented: “In honor of #NationalBestFriendsDay I’m gonna post my bestie being awesome at #dubsmash @justinverlander (I wanted to post the bridesmaids one but he rejected it… Sorry everyone).” Well, that’s kind of normal.
The couple is holding off on setting a date. Now that is totally normal.
Here are 15 examples of Verlander and Upton, a not-so-normal couple, attempting to maintain a low profile and experience a “typical” courtship:
15. New Love
It all started with a commercial shoot and posing for one of their first friendly photos, featuring supermodel Kate Upton in a low-cut black shirt standing with major league players David Price, Jay Bruce, and Justin Verlander in front of a big black sport utility vehicle. What soon followed was a private affair that survived breakups and public scrutiny. Verlander didn’t give up on his new love even when a few of his engagement proposals were declined because Upton felt she was not ready, insisting she wanted to focus on her modeling and acting careers. As soon as she relentede, though, Upton hit the gym to get in better shape. (Is that possible?) Over the summer, she posted personal videos of her workouts, including power lifts and yoga. Of course, many went viral.
14. Grandfather Confirms Rumors
When Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and supermodel Kate Upton started dating, they attempted to remain low-key, but that didn’t prevent them from showing up at sporting events and clubs for dancing, all the while keeping gossip columnists guessing. Verlander was not talking. His teammates didn’t know and some were asked frequently. As whispers persisted through the months following their initial introduction, rumor-mongers clamored for clarification. Enter Richard Verlander Sr., Justin’s grandfather, who unwittingly confirmed a report for Celebuzz of the blooming relationship. “I’m not confirming or denying anything,” Verlander told USA Today. “I’ll leave that to my grandfather. God bless him. I never thought I’d have to prepare my grandfather for the media.”
13. Hollywood Photo Hack
The couple has already experienced the dark side of celebrity dating. And they are not even married yet. Supermodel Kate Upton was among a series of celebrities who were victimized by a massive photo hack of nearly 500 mostly nude photos in August 2014. Upton and Verlander were exposed – literally. “Obviously, it was tough,” Verlander said. “I still don’t talk about what happened.” It was one of the largest Hollywood hacks of all-time, involving nearly 100 celebrities, “the who’s who of Hollywood,” CBS-Los Angeles reported. The images of Upton and Verlander initially appeared on the website, 4chan, and the FBI opened an investigation on how the hack of Apple’s iCloud originated and led to the leaked nude photos. Upton reportedly planned legal action for “an outrageous violation” of her privacy.
12. Hi Kate, Bye-Bye Careers
In baseball terms, supermodel Kate Upton has worked the count of dating athletes. There was former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, LA Clippers forward Blake Griffin and dancer Maksim Chmerkoviskiy (let’s pretend dancing is a sport, OK?). The trouble is career-worst slumps have paralleled the athletes’ relationship with Upton? Even Verlander, who is now engaged with Upton, suffered through an injury-plagued season after they met. Evan mascots were not immune. The mascot of the Orlando Magic proposed to Upton in February 2014. Needless to say, the Magic placed last in the Southeast Division that season.
11. Monster Date
Girls love to go on unique dates. Caring gentleman will do just about anything to make his date feel special. As the Detroit Tigers starting pitcher, Justin Verlander has over the years seen a few of his efforts sail over the Green Monster at Fenway Park. Inside the formidable baseball structure in May 2014, Verlander released one of his best pitches. With the Tigers in Boston for a series, Verlander took the opportunity to take Upton to a spot few are allowed to venture – the inner workings of the Green Monster. The couple took a moment to immortalize the moment by signing a portion of the inside wall. Verlander posted the following on Instagram: “Next time anyone visits inside the #greenmonster see if you can find our signature!” Guess an old oak tree and carving knife were not available.
10. People’s Sexiest Women Award
Actor Eric Dane stood center stage and presented supermodel Kate Upton with People’s Sexiest Woman award in 2015. To Upton, the honor paralleled the American League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young awards her fiancé, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, earned in 2011. “There are a lot of reasons why Kate is sexy. Style, career, achievements, sense of humor, personality – oh and did I mention her … looks?” Dane said during the presentation. Upton accepted the award with grace: “This is such an honor to me because sexy to me means someone who’s confident and happy.” How did Verlander accept the news after learning he was dating the sexiest woman alive? Upton spoke for him: “Clearly, Justin has it good.”
9. Sporting Couple
Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and supermodel fiancée Kate Upton may maintain a low-key relationship, but they are not shy about being seen together in public, especially at a variety sporting events. Upton has been a regular visitor to Tigers games and over the past three years, they have been spotted at sporting events across the country. They are no strangers to staring on “Kiss Cam” during timeouts, like the time in at a Cleveland Cavaliers game. The couple also attended a Boston Bruins playoff game, sat courtside with actor Ben Stiller at a New York Knicks game and roamed around Arnold Palmer’s pro-am golf tournament. The couple is proving life really is a sport as they continue to attend these high profile sporting events.
8. Upton Wants To ‘Make Out’
How would you react after your supermodel girlfriend told The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon she would like to “make out” with another prolific athlete? Apparently, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander took the news in stride and wasn’t at all jealous. He understood Kate Upton’s passion for stallions. A former American Paint Horse Association Reserve World Championship competitor for western riding, Upton was an accomplished horsewoman while growing up in Florida. While Upton was scheduled to present the winner’s trophy at the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic, she told Fallon she anticipated meeting Triple Crown champion American Pharoah. “I’m so excited,” Upton said. “I just want to make out with American Pharoah.” The American thoroughbred captured the cup, but there was no word if Upton and American Pharoah had a roll in the hay.
7. Hard Breakup
A lot of couples who eventually end up walking down the aisle, at one time or another, broke off the relationship for one reason or another. It’s normal. Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and supermodel Kate Upton went through typical ups and downs of a modern courtship. There was even “mean” digital content meant to belittle the ex. One such occurrence happened in June 2013. While they initially dated, Upton became friends with Verlander’s confidant, Frank Viola III. On Viola’s birthday, Upton sent an e-card. The message was clear: “Happy birthday to a friend of a friend who I now like more than the original friend.” Ouch. Obviously, this was overlooked and Verlander was soon back in the good graces of Upton.
6. Reunited And It Feels So Good
Rumors are just about all gossip hounds had when it came to up-to-date news on the on-again, off-again relationship of Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and supermodel Kate Upton. That’s how it was in late 2013 and early 2014. “Are they together? I heard they broke up.” The questions ceased, for the time being anyway, when the reunited couple attended GQ’s Super Bowl bash in New York (what a place to make a return appearance as a couple). Verlander and Upton began dating again some time prior to the appearance and after Upton broke up with former boyfriend Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Not only did Verlander and Upton turn heads upon their arrival, Upton’s leather dress was certainly a conversation piece. And Verlander was, well, just kind of there.
5. Dog Lovers
Kate Upton loves dogs. As of March, the supermodel had three canine companions and if she had her way, “I would love to have 10 dogs,” she declared. If you think she will get her way, just because of her … well, negotiating tools, Detroit Tigers pitcher and fiancée Justin Verlander balked at adding more members to the family any time soon. “Justin is definitely an animal lover but he is definitely holding me back from my 10 dogs,” Upton said. “He is putting a three-dog limit on it.” Upton has attempted to do her part in protecting “man’s best friend.” Before a Spring Training game last March between the Tigers and New York Yankees at Merchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida, Upton staged a Grand Slam Adoption event to raise awareness about shelter dogs.
4. Defending Her Man
Kate Upton proved no one should mess with her man, especially the media. When Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, who was favored to claim the 2016 American League Cy Young Award, placed second after two writers neglected to list Verlander on their ballots. Verlander was bested by Rick Porcello, a former teammate who pitched last season for the Boston Red Sox. Porcello received 137 points to earn the top AL pitcher’s award, despite receiving six fewer first-place votes than Verlander. What the final tally came down to was the two ballots in which the runner-up didn’t appear. Upton was peeved upon learning of the dual snub, prompting her to sign on to Twitter and deliver a classic digital rant: “Hey @MLB I thought I was the only person allowed to f*** @JustinVerlander ?! What 2 writers didn’t have him on their ballot?” The fun continued after she learned of the scribes’ identity.
3. Showing Off The Rock – Officially
After more than three years of dating in the glare of celebrity, a few low-profile breakups and several secret proposals, the future Mrs. Justin Verlander officially ended all the marital rumors by wearing a full-length silver evening gown, highlighted by a one-of-a-kind engagement ring, at the 2016 Met Gala in New York in May. It was the first time the supermodel wore the rock in public and the perfect time for Kate Upton to officially announce her engagement. She paused for photos and consciously placing her left hand on her hip. The theme of this year’s event was “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” and Upton paid homage to old Hollywood glamour. Mark Kenney, vice president of marketing for Ritani, told US Weekly the ring appeared to be a “round 8-carat diamond set in a six-prong setting with even more diamonds throughout.” It is estimated to be valued at approximately $1.5 million.
2. Home, Sweet Beverly Hills Home
The wedding date may not be established, at least publicly, but the couple’s elaborate love nest is set for an extended honeymoon. Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and supermodel fiancée Kate Upton closed on a Beverly Hills mansion for a reported $5.475 million in November. An emerging power couple, Verlander and Upton will cohabitat in a historical 5,706-square-feet estate. The estate is gated with a pool, spa, tennis court and maid’s room. Built in 1976, the home was previously owned by musician Kenny G, former tennis champion Pete Sampras and actress Kate Jackson. FYI, the guest room has its own entrance, for those of us anticipating an invite. An, the life of a superstar MLB pitcher and a world renown super model. Life seems pretty good for this couple.
1. Wedding Locations
The date may not be set and Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and supermodel Kate Upton remained hush-hush on virtually all of the “juicy” details of their courtship, but that didn’t stop some from anticipating the future site of the wedding. One possible place could be Upton’s lakefront family home in St. Joseph, Michigan. Located on a brick-paved, one-lane road in an exclusive, old money neighborhood, it would offer privacy and romantic seclusion. Another possible site is Italy, where they recently vacationed. Could they have been scouting sites while walking the streets of Florence or driving the countryside in a red Ferrari? Surely, Justin Verlander and Kate Upton have had their problems, but it appears as though they will have that fairy tale ending after all.
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