Game 7 of the World Series is over a thousand miles away, yet there will be a loud cheering section here in Connecticut.
New Britain’s own George Springer will be in the lineup as Houston’s lead-off hitter, generating excitement in the Hardware City.
“I think it’s fantastic. I’m totally ecstatic about it,” said New Britain’s Nora Shackford. “It’s making me watch the games.”
As Springer prepares for Wednesday’s deciding Game 7, few are more excited than CCSU assistant baseball coach Patrick Hall. Hall is a good friend who attended this past week’s series games in Washington with the Springer family. Hall was Springer’s travel-ball coach for six years, beginning when Springer was 11 years old.
“I remember him working out and he was this small little guy and kind of his arms flying everywhere,” said Hall.
Springer’s high school baseball coach looks at his former player and sees a person living his lifelong dream. Rob Dowling says, when George Springer came to Avon Old Farms as a freshman, he was small; 5’1, 115 pounds.
“When we took him on the varsity team there were some people who were shocked we would have a boy of his size on our team,” said Dowling.
Springer proved he belonged on that varsity team though and by the time he was a senior, his body caught up with his talent.
“He was like 6’3” 205 pounds and was throwing 95 mph from the outfield and hitting the ball over the road at our field,” said Dowling.
That hitting has continued and a college player at UCONN and into the major leagues. Entering tonight, Springer has 160 career homeruns including a combined seven in World Series competition.
As he prepares for tonight’s deciding game seven, his father says this has always been the ultimate goal.
“It all comes to this very exciting and wonderful moment in his professional career called the World Series and it’s a game seven and there’s nothing more exciting than that,” said George Springer, Jr.
Springer was the 2017 World Series MVP and with a pair of homers in this series, along with a batting average well above 300, he’s a candidate for that honor again. Those that know him well though, say individual honors are secondary.
“He’s not concerned with himself he concerned with his teammates and whether they win or lose,” added Hall.