June 29, 2017
Kate Upton, Justin Verlander Are Engaged! When Will The Happy Couple Tie The Knot?

Kate Upton and Justin Verlander are engaged!

As MSN reports, Kate showed up at the Met Gala this week, sporting a gigantic rock on her left hand. Even better for Kate, the engagement ring was designed by Verlander himself.

"I'm really excited, he asked me right before season started so we've been keeping it on the down low for quite a while. So I'm excited to finally be able to share it with the world!"
Kate Upton Justin Verlander
Kate Upton shows off her engagement ring. [Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP]As the Washington Post notes, Justin Verlander shouldn't have any trouble paying for such a huge stone: the Detroit Tigers pitcher signed a $180 million contract in 2013.

Justin Verlander is not the first professional athlete to be romantically attached to Upton. She's previously been linked to NFL quarterback Mark Sanchez and "Dancing With The Stars" professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy. She's been dating Verlander since 2011.

That Kate Upton would be engaged to a professional athlete is hardly surprising, given her background in sports. Her mother was Texas state tennis champion, and her father is a high school athletics director. Upton herself was an equestrian competitor in her day and won multiple awards, before making a name for herself as a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.

A lifelong New York Yankees fan, Upton admitted to Bleacher Report last summer that the Yankees don't like it when she supports her main squeeze and wears Detroit Tigers gear at Yankee Stadium.

"They specifically told me, the Yankees told me, they're like, 'You're not allowed to wear a Tigers hat. You're not allowed to wear any Tigers gear.' It's like a bad breakup."
"SO excited about my Detroit lense!!!!"
At one point in his career, the 33-year-old Verlander, who grew up in Virginia, was the most dominant pitcher in baseball. Even in high school, his fastball topped out at 86 miles per hour. As a Major League player, he's been even more impressive: in 2006 he won the AL Rookie of the Year Award, an accolade that he followed up by throwing two no-hitters, one in 2007 and again in 2011. He also won the Cy Young Award and the AL MVP Award in 2011 -- and was rewarded with a handsome contract.

In a 2011 interview with ESPN, Verlander talked about being an avid video gamer off the mound.

"I play a lot of first-person shooters like 'Call of Duty'; I like a lot of sports games, although one game I've never been into is 'Madden,' for some reason. Probably because I'm not very good at it. I play the baseball games, but it's almost too weird for me to see myself in a video game. There are actually a bunch of [baseball] clubhouses that have 'RBI Baseball' machines, but I get my butt kicked every time. The way the curves bend, you have no chance against someone who knows what they're doing."
Unfortunately, Verlander has been off his game in the early part of this season, chalking up a 5.46 ERA in five starts.

Still, his problems on the mound don't seem to be affecting his relationship with Upton. Speaking to E! News, Upton said the she and Justin are the best of friends -- a fact that makes their relationship even stronger.

"For us, we always try and work on our communication. We're very open with one another and we're each others best friends. He's definitely my best friend, so I think that helps a lot."
As of this writing, Kate Upton and Justin Verlander have not yet set a wedding date, with Kate saying that they're not in any hurry to tie the knot, and are planning on enjoying their engagement for the time being.

[Photo by Loreen Sarkis/Stringer/Getty Images]