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Watch: Justin Verlander gets rousing ovation in return to Detroit

Sportsnaut logo Sportsnaut 9/10/2018 Michael Dixon, Sportsnaut
Justin Verlander wearing a hat © Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

While Justin Verlander no longer plays for the Detroit Tigers, the fans in Motor City still have plenty of love for one of the greatest players in franchise history.

A little more than one year after he was traded to the Houston Astros, Verlander returned to Comerica Park on Monday as a visitor for the first time in his career. As he returned from the bullpen after warming up, the fans in Detroit gave him a stirring ovation, which choked Verlander up.

Verlander certainly made his mark in Detroit. He made six All-Star teams, was the Rookie of the Year in 2006, and won the American League Cy Young and MVP awards in 2011.

He clearly had mixed feelings about being traded, as well. When the July 31 non-waiver deadline passed in 2017, Verlander seemed excited to still be a Tiger. But a month later, he cleared waivers and waived his no-trade clause, accepting a trade to Houston.

It obviously worked out in the end. But there clearly remains a mutual love between Verlander and the city where he’s spent most of his MLB career.

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