How would you feel if all of the major news networks wanted to interview you because you became the Most Valuable Player of the World Series of baseball this year? That just happened to George Springer and he is a person who stutters. These days, it’s not something people would necessarily notice. But in his youth, in his middle-school and high-school days, it was pretty noticeable.
Yet George Springer never saw it as a problem.
“I’ve never seen it as an issue,” said Springer, still less than two weeks into his Major League career. “I understand it makes me who I am. I’ve always had that mentality, even from a young age, when you’re in school and a little more self-conscious of it then. But it didn’t prohibit it me from being a kid and doing the stuff I wanted to do.
George Springer explained, “It’s not an issue because it doesn’t hold me back. Some people have blue eyes, some people have blond hair, some people don’t. Some people stutter and some people don’t. People who do have it have to deal with it just like those who don’t.
“I know from my own personal standpoint, embracing it is what helped me. I was able to go about it, and at the end of the day, if I stutter, I do. If I don’t, I don’t. I can’t keep it wholly from happening.”
Lessons from life translate to the field
Control what you can control. It’s an axiom often said in the baseball world. Springer uses it to help him — and he hopes others — to live with stuttering. It easily carries over to baseball, in which trying to manage everything on the field can be a player’s undoing, regardless of age. As a young player just getting his big league career started, trying to do too much would be a huge pitfall.
“This game is structured around you failing seven times out of 10,” Springer said. “I understand that when it comes to baseball, you’re going to fail. When it comes to life, you’re going to fail. The key is you have to get back up and keep going. The more you can get back up and keep climbing that mountain, the better off you are in life, in sports, whatever profession you’re going to be in. I think I didn’t have a firm grasp on that until I got to college. You have to do it over and over and over again.”