An Upton Sports Illustrated Cover: Kate Joins Braves' Justin and BJ

Image: An Upton Sports Illustrated Cover: Kate Joins Braves' Justin and BJ

Thursday, 03 Oct 2013 09:40 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Kate Upton is back on the cover of Sports Illustrated, joining the magazine with Atlanta Braves brothers Justin and B.J. Upton.

Upton joined the National League playoff-bound Atlanta Braves players for its playoff issue. The photo shoot took place last month at New York Mets' CitiField.

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"This shoot is so much fun," said Kate Upton, in a Sports Illustrated behind-the-scene video. "Honestly, shooting with anyone in the Sports Illustrated family is a lot of fun because I know everybody here. Shooting with Justin and B.J. was a lot of fun." 

It was the first time that one of the magazine's swimsuit models has made the cover of the weekly magazine. Upton is a two-time Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl.

"You hear all the jokes; the sister, this and the other," said Justin Upton. "It's actually pretty cool to finally meet her. It's been fun."

"You don't get to shoot too many brothers," added veteran sports photographer Walter Iooss Jr. on the video. "That's unusual to begin it. I think it was fun for them to play off of each other. The whole Upton thing was a lot of fun. I worked with Kate a few times. She's a special girl. I feel like an Upton now."

Braves' left fielder Justin Upton, 26, enters Thursday night's playoff game against the Los Angeles Dodgers batting .263, with 27 doubles and 27 home runs along with 70 runs batted in. B.J. Upton, 29, a centerfielder, has struggled this season, batting .184, some 64 points below is career batting average of .248, with nine home runs.

Not everyone connected that the three shared the same last name, which was the reason for the cover.

"Even though it's probably a regional cover, it's kind of an awkward choice," said David Brown, of Yahoo! Sports Big League Stew. "If they gave an award for least valuable player, B.J. Upton would win it (lose it?) in a runaway. . . . Kate Upton's own connection to baseball is thin. She used to date (Detroit Tigers) Justin Verlander, it was alleged. That's it." 

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