George Springer's dad has some must-watch wisdom for parents of young athletes

By Amanda Cochran - Social Media Producer

HOUSTON - George Springer Jr., the father of Astros outfielder George Springer III, could be in the running for his own MVP: most valuable parent.

In an interview with KPRC 2 sports director Randy McIlvoy George Springer Jr. shared some remarkable advice for parents of kids in sports, and generally for life. 

He told McIlvoy he was “enormously proud of his son.”

“He has really worked hard to develop his talents,” Springer said. “He’s worked hard to try to continuously try to make a positive contribution to the team. But it’s not just about the Xs and the Os. It’s not just about the hits. It’s not just about running the bases or catching balls, it’s about being a good person. It’s about being a good teammate, and understanding that everybody has value.”

“The thing that I really enjoy most watching him is how he makes everybody around him better,” Springer said. “That goes for us, too. As parents, you hope to set an example and you hope to be an inspiration for your children, but in this case I could tell you that, George, routinely is an inspiration to me. He’s an inspiration to my wife. He’s an inspiration to my daughters. The way he comports himself. He’s a really remarkable young man.”

As for winning MVP, Springer said of his son, “It makes me feel great, obviously, that he made a significant contribution, but really, what it means is that that contribution was able to aid the team in winning and it’s a reflection of all the hard work and the effort, and frankly, the struggle -- you know, you get knocked down, and he had his knock downs during the series and you get back up -- because that’s what life is. To see him work through that, to see his resiliency is enough to make you real proud.” 

Springer III has dealt with having a stutter his entire life. He has become a major spokesperson for SAY, The Stuttering Association for the Young.  

Springer said his son took an “incredible” step to talk about his stuttering publicly. 

“Part of what we tried to teach him growing up, aside from what techniques to help manage the stuttering, is to recognize that this is who you are,” Springer said. “This is what makes you special and it’s OK. And I think he’s taken that message and he’s tried to deliver that message very powerfully using the platform he has as a major league baseball player to talk to other kids.”
“I can tell you that when he initially when public with the stuttering, like any parent, you want to protect him, and I had concerns – it’s a tough world out there. And he said to me, he said, ‘Dad, if there’s one kid that I can help, it’s worth it to me. It’s not about me. It’s about those kids out there.’ And I like to think that over the years, I thought through a lot of things, and these kids don’t come with an instruction manual. You know, like any other parents, you’re just trying to figure it out as you go, you’re trying to make the right decisions to put them in the right situations so that they can develop and grow as human beings. And you often don’t fully appreciate the impact you’ve had until it comes back to you in moments like that. And when he told me that that’s what he wanted to do and the importance of what he wanted to do, I couldn’t argue with him. I said, ‘You’re absolutely right and we’re going to do everything we can to support you’.”

Watch the full interview in the video player above.

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