(FOX 17) — Ben Verlander had 10 multi-hit games in his first six weeks in a Whitecaps uniform back in 2014.
"West Michigan is my favorite place I played in all of pro ball," Verlander remembered. "I had a few different stops and Grand Rapids is for sure my favorite. Just the fans there, how passionate they are, the stadium was awesome, just a great town. I say it all the time, it is definitely my favorite place I played."
He played in five minor league seasons in the Detroit Tigers organization and after 2017, it was time for something else.
"I always knew I wanted to be in baseball in some capacity," Verlander said. "It is what I have done my whole life, it's my passion, it's what I love. I knew I would eventually be involved in it, I just didn't exactly know how."
Last fall he got a chance to host the World Series watch party for FOX along side former big leaguers Nick Swisher, Tino Martinez and Rick Ankiel.
"It was so much fun," Verlander said of hosting the watch party. "It did great, the numbers were awesome, but it was just an awesome time and not too long after that we were in talks with a full time job."
He is still working for FOX Sports and now has his own podcast called 'The Flippin' Bats podcast.'
"For far too long I thought baseball was portrayed a very straight forward, here's what happened, here's why it happened and when you do something well you put your head down and you round the bases," Verlander said. "The game is changing, there is so many young guys coming along, evolving that are so fun to watch like (Fernando) Tatis and (Ronald) Acuna and all those guys and I just want to and I just want to showcase the game that way."
Velrander's sixth episode is due out on Tuesday.