Justin Brooks Verlander (born February 20, 1983) is an American professional baseball pitcher with the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball. In 2006, he was named the American League Rookie of the Year. On June 12, 2007, he pitched a no-hitter—the first ever at Comerica Park—against the Milwaukee Brewers, striking out 12 batters and walking four. He pitched a second no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 7, 2011 in Toronto, walking one and facing the minimum 27 batters.
His father Richard, who was president of the local Richmond chapter of the Communications Workers of America, told him to play baseball. Richard gave up catching Justin's ball because of the velocity, and sent Justin to The Richmond Baseball Academy. Justin clocked 84 mph shortly after joining the academy. The velocity kept getting faster and it passed 93 when he entered Goochland High School. He had been a top pitching prospect in high school, but his career suffered a setback when he came down with strep throat early in his senior season of baseball. A weakened Verlander topped out at 86 during that season, causing professional scouts to lose interest. After he recovered, his velocity reached 100 during his first year at Old Dominion.
Verlander played on the DeWitt Panthers AAA team that placed fourth in the nation. The tournament was played in Chickasha, Oklahoma.