Astros Star Justin Verlander Donating Weekly Paycheck to Coronavirus Relief

Jesse Pantuosco
April 05, 2020 - 9:57 am

Reigning American League Cy Young winner Justin Verlander gave the Astros a lift with his league-high 21 victories and career-best 300 punch-outs in 2019. Now the former AL MVP is giving his community an assist, donating his weekly MLB paycheck to the ongoing coronavirus relief efforts.

“Obviously this is an extremely difficult time for the entire world,” the eight-time All-Star said Saturday in a video posted to his Instagram account. “There are so many people that are in need, whether it’s those that are on the front lines battling this disease head on or someone who’s at home and has lost their job and needs to provide basic necessities such as food and water.” Verlander and his wife, model/actress Kate Upton, will donate each paycheck to a different cause, highlighting organizations doing noteworthy work in their communities.

The long-tenured right-hander, who is due a $33-million base salary this season, is not alone in his generosity. Many of Verlander’s Houston teammates have chipped in with similar contributions including All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve, who along with his wife have donated 60,000 meals to local non-profit Kid’s Meals Inc. Fellow Astros Alex Bregman and George Springer have also been in the giving spirit. Last month Bregman provided 1,000 quarantine food kits to the Houston Food Bank while Springer allotted $100,000 to help cover salaries of Minute Maid Park employees during the league’s current hiatus.

It’s been a rough few months for the Astros, who have been ostracized for their involvement—and seeming lack of remorse—in a cheating scandal that rocked the baseball world this offseason. The Astros’ admitted transgressions have largely tainted the team’s 2017 World Championship with many calling for commissioner Rob Manfred to vacate Houston’s title. The doghouse is where you’ll find the Astros for the foreseeable future, though at least Verlander and others are spreading goodwill to their community at a time when every cent counts.

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