Grand Rapids, MI (Take Five, WZZM 13) -- Justin Verlander, ace pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, has won the 2011 American League Cy Young Award and coveted 2011 Most Valuable Player of the Year Award. How did he get there?
In Rocks Across the Pond, Richard and Kathy Verlander tell the inspiring story of raising Justin and younger son, Ben, starting with the front lawn where father and son threw their first pitch together, to Comerica Park in Detroit, where Justin has pitched in the Major League World Series. Learn the joys and pitfalls of raising a modern day superstar from an angle that you will find nowhere else-Mom and Dad. See exclusive photographs from the Verlander family album and enjoy a firsthand account of what builds not only an outstanding athlete, but an athlete with character so renowned and admired that he has earned the nickname, "King of Detroit."
Richard and Kathy Verlander observe - There's really no roadmap for parents.... This much was clear to us from the start in 1989 as parents of then 6 year old Justin Verlander.
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 have imagined that 20 years later we would be receiving the "Award" in Willamsport , Pa. This is an honor bestowed annually on the parents of major league stars that played Little League Baseball.
After more than two decades spent raising two sons who have experienced great success both on and off the field, the term "Baseball is Life" has become much more than a cliché for the Verlander family. We have been touched by many life changing events that we were fortunate to experience, but often unprepared to handle. Looking back we were often blessed to be surrounded by many people who helped us by providing valuable insight in making decisions and dealing with situations that enabled us to put our boys in the best possible atmosphere to grow and develop their potential; both as athletes and young men. Other times we were just lucky. It wasn't always clear, that's for sure... This book was written in hopes that other parents raising young athletes can gain something from our experience and look back as we have, knowing that Baseball is a great metaphor for life and that lessons learned last