Published November 4, 2011
Verlander was named '11 Player of the Year for MLBPA's annual Players Choice Awards
2K Sports Thursday night named Tigers P Justin Verlander as the cover athlete for "MLB 2K12," the forthcoming release in its baseball simulation video game series. The Verlander announcement arrived slightly earlier than the cover nods in prior years of the game, but it dovetailed with Verlander also winning '11 Player of the Year and AL Most Outstanding Pitcher honors for the MLBPA's annual Players Choice Awards. The award selections, made by fellow major league players, were announced Thursday night in a one-hour special aired on MLB Network and sponsored by 2K Sports. Verlander traveled to the channel's Secaucus, N.J., studios to accept the awards, participate in the cover announcement and sit for an interview airing in the special. "This is definitely something I wanted, something I've wanted for a long time," Verlander said of the video game cover. "I do play ["MLB 2K"], often as myself, and being on the cover is something you dream of as a kid." "MLB 2K12" is set for release on March 6 and will be the last in an exclusive third-party console deal signed between 2K, MLB and the MLBPA in '05, a pact that has been a noted money loser for 2K Sports. MLBPA GM/Business Affairs, Media & International Richard White said it was too soon to tell what the next iteration of baseball video game licenses will hold. "We're taking a long look at the entire industry and we're still at an early stage in that process," he said. White added, "The cover selection of Verlander for the game had been made totally separately before the awards were decided. But the moon and the stars sort of all lined up on this one."