Verlanders hold book-signing in Tecumseh at Sports Hut

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Blake Day of Adrian plays for the FCA Tigers so he was thrilled when asked to have his picture taken with Justin Verlander’s parents, Richard and Kathy, and his MLB All-Star ring. Photo by Mickey Alvarado.

Detroit Tiger ace pitcher Justin Verlander’s parents, Richard and Kathy, visited Tecumseh on Tuesday, June 11, for a book signing at the Sports Hut.

Their book, titled Rocks Across the Pond: Lessons Learned. Stories Told, gives perspectives on the journey of being baseball parents — from Little League, to the World Series, and everything in-between.

The couple just had their younger son, Ben, get signed by the Tigers and now have two sons in the same Major League Baseball program.

Janelle McClure, owner of the Sports Hut, said the Verlander’s book promoter was in town from Dundee purchasing uniforms and asked if she would be interested in hosting the book signing and she gladly agreed. It is the first time the store has hosted this type of event.

A line began forming even before the scheduled 5:30 p.m. start with kids and parents alike excited about meeting the Verlanders. Several in line carried several books to have signed as gifts for other family and friends. The Verlanders graciously answered questions while relaying stories about raising their boys Justin and Ben.

After chatting and signing of books, children were asked if they would like to wear Justin’s All-Star ring for a photo. Even the most timid of kids perked up and wanted a picture with the huge piece of bling.

Richard laughed about having the ring and said, “When I tried it on Justin said, “‘I’m not getting that back for a while am I?’”

Several people attending the book signing had already purchased the book and told the Verlanders how impressed they were with the touching stories and family photos that were included in the book.

The co-authors said of the book, “With little background or experience in any type of organized sports ourselves we had no idea about the turn our lives were about to take when a neighbor from across the street suggested that our son Justin should “sign up” for Little League Baseball. In our wildest dreams we never would have imagined that 20 years later we would be receiving the Laura and George Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award in Willamsport, Pa. This is an honor bestowed annually on the parents of major league stars that played Little League Baseball.”

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