Despite the presences of Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and other stars, Justin Verlander remains the face of the Detroit Tigers franchise — and one of the most recognizable and popular players in baseball, period.
To wit: The Tigers’ ace and opening-day starter landed on one of Sports Illustrated’s regional covers this week. Here’s what that cover looks like:
Detroit Lions teammates Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson shared a regional cover prior to the 2012 NFL season, as part of SI’s NFL preview. Johnson also famously grabbed the cover of the “Madden” game last year.
This marks Verlander’s third time on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He was there in 2006, as the Tigers made their surprising run to the World Series, then again late in 2011 under the headline “MVP”.