When Justin Verlander, now a star for the Houston Astros, was dealing with injuries and struggles in 2013-14 as a Detroit Tigers pitcher, Kate Upton helped him keep it together, he says.
But just as Verlander was falling apart, he was also falling in love. And that helped him cope with his troubles.
“She was instrumental in me not…like, jumping off a bridge,” he says. “I was depressed and kind of just upset at the world and trying to hide my own shit.”
Upton understood him. And she had a combination of qualities that could help him through his ordeal.
“Fuck, man,” he says, voice shaky. “She was what I needed.”
Not many people in the world could comprehend what he was going through. But she was there to listen, to help him.
“I don’t like to talk to people about being hurt. As athletes, you’re not supposed to. It’s an excuse. . . . But she was someone I could talk to. I mean, basically a therapist,” he says. “Somebody I could trust with . . . worries about my career. Worries about, Can I make it? Worries about what I’m going through to get back. And just the overall shittiness of it all.”