Kate Upton on the cover of Sports Illustrated
Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 18, 2012 in Detroit. / Leon Halip / Getty Images
(DETROIT FREE PRESS) - There's been plenty of buzz surrounding Detroit Tigers pitching ace Justin Verlander and Sports Illustrated 2012 Swimsuit issue cover model Kate Upton after the two have been spotted together at metro Detroit establishments over the past week.
Verlander, 29, who will be the starting pitcher for the American League at tonight's Major League All Star Game, and Upton, 20, who was born in St. Joseph but spent the majority of her childhood in Florida, haven't commented publicly on the topic. Earlier this year, the pair starred in two commercials promoting the "MLB 2K12" video game and its $1 million perfect game challenge.
Warren's Amanda Waynick, who said she stopped by Coyote Joe's in Shelby Township on Thursday to celebrate her 25th birthday, immediately noticed Verlander at the club.
"I went up to him, told him it was my birthday and that he was my Tiger and asked if he would take a picture with me," Waynick told Names & Faces Tuesday. "He laughed, kind of walked by me, but he said no.
"I was like, 'OK, fine, I don't want a picture with you anyway.' And he laughed at that, too."
She didn't recognize Upton, who was in the same group of about five with Verlander. Despite that, she did get her to pose for a photo, and a friend told her who it was on Sunday.
"She said happy birthday, posed for the picture, and that was really it," she added.
"My mom always asks me if I've ever met (Verlander). Well, I did. But now I have to find a new Tiger as he turned me down," she said, laughing. "(Doug) Fister's looking pretty good now."
Waynick first shared her story earlier today on WDZH-FM (98.7)'s "Buck and Coop Show," which posted on the station's website a photo that Waynick said showed Verlander and Upton together, though the photo was taken from a distance, and the subjects are obscured.
According to various published stories online and a string of Twitter comments, Verlander and Upton were spotted around metro Detroit over the weekend, including at Thursday's Aerosmith concert at the Palace of Auburn Hills, and even made an appearance at Birmingham hot spot South Bar.
Upton also tweeted that she was was at Friday's Tigers game.
Calls and e-mails to Coyote Joe's, South Bar and Upton's management weren't immediately returned.
Verlander has had a longtime girlfriend, Emily Yuen, of whom he told Men's Journal in April: "She's the one, but I'm not ready."
Detroit Free Press