Verlander to host Grand Slam Adoption Event

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Before Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander makes his final Spring Training tuneup for Opening Day, he'll make his pitch for pet adoption in his offseason hometown of Lakeland on Thursday. Verlander and supermodel/actress Kate Upton will host the second annual Grand Slam Adoption Event, featuring adoptable dogs from SPCA Florida.

The event, in partnership with the Detroit Tigers and Verlander's Wins for Warriors Foundation, will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET at Joker Marchant Stadium, where the Tigers will take on the Yankees at 1:05 p.m. All proceeds will benefit SPCA Florida and K9s for Warriors, a foundation dedicated to providing service dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury and other trauma resulting from post-9/11 military service.

In addition to adoptable dogs on site, the event will feature live demonstrations from the Lakeland Police Department's K9 unit officers, as well as family-friendly activities like mascot appearances, a bounce house, caricature drawings, a bean bag toss, a Topgolf chipping challenge and more.

The event will take place at Hangar No. 2 next to the stadium. For more information, visit

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.