Along with the sound of sharply hit home runs and the pop of a ball in a new leather glove, one of the surest signs of spring is the annual Grand Slam Adoption event held at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium every March. The event is now in its third year, and each season Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander and his finacée Kate Upton do their best for find homes for deserving dogs, while also raising money for canine charities they support. (Come to think of it, K9 would be a great name for a baseball-themed dog charity.)
This year the couple focused their charitable efforts on SPCA Florida and K9s for Warriors, a group who helps pair service dogs with veterans returning from active duty who suffer from PTSD. The event was a huge success, raising money for the groups and helping find homes for 23 dogs. A win-win for everyone involved.
The #justinsayyes hashtag makes me wonder how many of the adoptable pups went home with Upton, to join Kate and Justin’s adopted pup Harley.
The event brought out fans of both Verlander and Upton, including that other famous Upton Tigers fans might recognize.
Justin Upton and Kate Upton with dog pic.twitter.com/aDJflHbi6F— Jason Beck (@beckjason) March 18, 2017
Then there was this kid who brought some serious game to his sign-making. (Kate signed his poster but did not adopt him.)
Apparently dogs weren't the only things up for adoption today. pic.twitter.com/vhYuAc0nO0— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) March 18, 2017
To bolster the fundraising the couple both donated some unique items for auction, which are still available to be bid on here.
This is such a great cause and one that makes spring training that much warmer. If you weren’t able to make it to the stadium, take a look at the auction prizes and maybe take home something cool while supporting charity.