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When Major League Baseball asked Houston Astros outfielder George Springer if he wanted to be mic’d up during the All-Star Game, he quickly accepted. That might not seem like a difficult decision for most players, but it was significant for Springer.
Springer grew up with a “fairly severe stutter,” and underwent years of speech therapy to manage it when he was younger. During Tuesday night’s All-Star Game, Springer spent the entire bottom of the third inning talking to the broadcast booth while he was playing left field.
After the game, he explained his decision to do the interview.
I can’t spread a message to kids and adults if I’m not willing to put myself out there. So, you know, I understand. I’m going to stutter. I don’t care. It is what it is. It’s not going to stop me from talking or having fun.
It’s far from the first time Springer has spoken about the issue. Since 2014, he’s been a spokesperson for Stuttering Association for the Young (SAY). For the past three years, he’s hosted a yearly bowling event for the organization.
This year’s benefit was held in June. Players and coaches from the Astros went to the event in support of the Springer. The 27-year-old outfielder addressed some the kids in attendance.
Springer’s willingness to be himself has been a source of inspiration for his teammates, according to Richard Justice of MLB.com. Former Astros reliever Pat Neshek described Springer as “probably the best teammate I’ve ever had.”
Springer was voted into the All-Star Game as a starter for the American League by the fans. Achieving that honor is impressive, but it was easily the second-best thing Springer accomplished Tuesday night.
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