Justin Verlander's parents talk about how to raise a successful athlete on and off the field

Most of us are familiar with the journey of Detroit Tigersâ?? ace pitcher Justin Verlander. But what about his parents? In June, Richard and Kathy Verlander released a book titled â??Rocks Across the Pond: Lessons Learned and Stories Told. The book offers perspectives on the journey of a baseball parent. The Verlanders visited Midland Monday evening offering a look into the entire family. Richard and Kathy took up public speaking a few years back which prompted the idea of writing a book and so they did. The baseball journey started in 1989 when the parents of six-year-old Justin had no idea what they were getting themselves into when a neighbor suggested Justin should sign up for little league. As the saying goes, itâ??s all history from there.

Richard and Kathy, having spent more than two decades raising Justin and his younger brother, Ben, say that it wasnâ??t always easy and hope to spread advice for parents who are raising athletes.

The book includes stories and pictures of a young Justin Verlander, but his dad said the book may not be what you think it is.

â??At the end of the day it ends up being more about success,â?? Richard Verlander said. â??Itâ??s not a baseball book. Itâ??s really a vehicle, as sports does in life, teaching values and trying to reach kids and use Justin as an example on how they can live their dreams.â??

The Verlanders are also giving back to the community during their stop - $5 for every book sold is going to the Jayden Lamb Memorial Foundation, in honor of the eight-year-old Midland boy who died of cancer last November.