Security came around in the bottom of the ninth inning at Dodgers Stadium Wednesday night to escort family members of the Houston Astros down a stairwell to the field.
The man sitting in Section 110, Row L, Seat 6 had no intention of moving.
This was a private moment.
“I did not want to move,” George Springer Jr., said Friday on his way to work at Rogin Nassau LLC, less than two days after his son became a World Series champion. “I wanted to see the last moments of the game to confirm what I was seeing because it had been such a competitive series and no lead was safe. I wanted to see it happen but most importantly I wanted to see the celebration on the field. I didn’t want to be in a tunnel. I didn’t want to be on a stairwell. I didn’t want to be in an elevator and I didn’t want to be in a suite. I wanted to be outside in the stadium to watch it myself with my own two eyes…”
And several times over the course of a 36-minute phone interview, George Springer Jr. began to cry with joy in talking about his son, George Springer III, the 2017 World Series MVP from New Britain. Dad was overcome with emotion.
“It wasn’t even about me,” Springer Jr. said. “I was carrying the hopes and dreams of my dad [who died in 2006], a lot of people, my grandparents, they were all with me and it was like ‘if I’m seeing this, they’re seeing it’. I wanted to be in my seat. I want to see it.”
He saw his son blast a two-run home run in the second inning to give the Astros a 5-0 lead in a game they would win 5-1. Springer Jr. also saw his son rebound from struggling early in the series to finish with three doubles and five home runs helping lead to his MVP selection. Springer III’s five dingers tied a Major League Baseball record for most home runs in the World Series with Reggie Jackson (1977) and Chase Utley (2009).
“The final out is recorded and I saw my son jump up and down. I sat in my seat and I put my hands over my face and I just got overwhelmed,” Springer Jr. said of son. “I was in that seat for a good five minutes.” The rest of the folks in Section 110, Springer Jr.’s wife and son’s mother, Laura, left him there, which was fine. He was inconsolable anyway. But he also knew he had to get to the field to see his son.
So Springer Jr. found security to ask where he had to go. He was standing near an elevator on the main concourse when two men (Brian Peters and Russ Spielman) from Legacy Sports Group, the agency that represents his son, approached him and told him they had to get him to the field.
“I said I’m trying to get down there and they said, ‘no, no, your son is about to get MVP,’ ” Springer Jr. recalled. “And I said ‘what?’ And they said it again… and I just went right to my knees. I had no strength in my legs.”
Springer Jr. breaks away from the phone again, only this time it’s a little longer.
“Oh man…,” Springer Jr., said.
His son overcame a stuttering issue. He worked very hard at that. In fact, he worked very hard at everything he did.
“If you knew the kind of kid he is, the man he has become, every now and then, it doesn’t happen every day, but good things do happen to good people,” Springer Jr. said. “I think about what it takes, the hard work and the sacrifice but I think of possibilities. I think of the limits of one’s imagination, how far you can stretch it.
“We grow up as kids and we think about what we want to be, what we want to do. We think about those moments that we would love to see become reality because it’s a reflection of the extent of those dreams. I was asked a question that night about what it meant and I think the way I put it is ‘this is what you work for. This is what you hope for; this is what you dreamed for. To see that actually happen in front of me, man I can’t believe it.”
The presentation of the MVP Award was over by the time Springer Jr. got to his son.
“I didn’t rush to get there, there were just too many, people, I just stood back like a fan. I listened and watched it on the JumboTron and took it all in,” Springer Jr. said. “The good thing is I was composed at that point. I certainly didn’t want to do that in front of all those people because it was a private moment. I watched it and afterward he came over. He walked over to me and we took a couple of photographs and he went off to do his media thing.”
Not before George III shared a few words with his father.
“Well, I can tell you this: when he leaned over gave me a big hug he said ‘I love you dad,’ that’s enough,” Springer Jr. said.
Springer Jr. went to work instead of watching his son in the Astros’ World Series parade celebration Friday.