Black baseball excellence was on full display during this World Series.
When the smoke cleared and the Houston Astros secured its first franchise title by defeating the Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7 on Wednesday night, Black Knight George Springer had risen above the pack and embraced the moment to capture the Willie Mays MVP Award, rightly named after the greatest centerfielder of all-time and an African-American baseball king.
George Springer is your World Series MVP!
In the biggest game in Astros history, Springer capped a mythical week by hitting his World Series record-tying fifth home run and leading his team to a Series-clinching victory. Springer has crashed and caught his way into the Astros history books. He will forever be remembered as the most dominant player in a World Series featuring some of the games brightest stars.
SPRINGER DINGER WOW! @astros take the 5-0 lead in the 2nd. #WorldSeries
Springers power surge ties an all-time record set by Reggie Jackson for the Yankees in 1977 and matched by Chase Utley for the Phillies in 2009.
Springer doubled in his first at-bat of Game 7 and scored the Astros first run. The six total bases he collected in his first two plate appearances put him at 29 for the series, crushing the previous record of 25 set by Jackson in 1977 and tied by Willie Stargell in 1979. Springer continues the legacy of Black Knights who are not only multi-faceted, prolific players, but clutch with the hardware on the line.
They say Blacks havent been influencing MLB in recent years, but Springers lit series kicks that notion to the curb. The soul-patroller rode into LA and put the mighty Dodgers to sleep with some identifying defense and a lethal stick.
GEORGE SPRINGER with the catch nos vamos a la quinta baja! #ThisTeam 1 #EarnHistory 4 #WorldSeries #SerieMundial https://t.co/neoYVOxSm5
Springer hit .379 (11-for-29) with five home runs and seven RBIs. His eight extra-base hits were the most ever in a World Series, and he is the first player to homer in four straight games within a single World Series, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
With his performance, Springer elevated himself to superstar status. He’s a five-tool player with scary ability setting the table in a lineup with 20-something year-old killers. His success in the World Series not only put an elite African-American baseball player on the world stage, but he can be proud that it also contributed to the contagious joy that Houston fans are experiencing as they continue to recover from the effects of Hurricane Harvey.
Upon receiving his MVP award, Springer spoke about how the Series victory was especially meaningful both for the franchise and the city.
“This is a dream come true and an honor,” Springer said. “But it’s about the Houston Astros tonight, our city, our fans. That patch on our chests really does mean something. We’re coming home champions.”
His Game 2 , 11th-inning homer was the biggest of the series. It set the tone.
George Springer Home Run off McCarthy to give Astros 7-5 lead in 11th inning against Dodgers in World Series Game 2 MLB Playoffs 2017 10/25/17 Springer two run home run
Back in April, Springer started the season like a madman and was leading the NL in homers. We tossed around the possibility of Springer becoming the first African-American player to lead the league in homers since Ryan Howard in 2008.
Springer, 27, was selected in 2011 by the Houston Astros in the first round, with the 11th overall selection, becoming the highest MLB Draft pick in Connecticut baseball history.
The tiny kid with the stutter who refused to lose in sibling competition grew into a 63, 221-pound terror at the plate. Springer slammed 20 homers in just 78 games as a rookie and then broke out with 29 dingers while playing 162 games in 2016.
Despite his coveted slugging ability, Springers speed and athleticism make him a special leadoff hitter. When comparing him to the the other elite outfielders in baseball — and MLB has plenty of them from Bryce Harper to Andrew McCutchen, Mookie Betts, Giancarlo Stanton, Nelson Cruz and the list goes on — Springers durability and his defensive prowess actually gives him an edge over some established names as the 2017 season begins to take form. He’s is also a deft centerfielder.
Springer’s star power is rising in his role as an integral part of the Astros band of lethal baseball newbies – a talented and energetic, well-balanced squad that has Houston thinking about a long-awaited World Series.
The city of Houston doesn’t have to think about how a World Series would feel anymore. The mission to rebuild a losing culture began with 203 losses in 2013-14. Through shrewd scouting, frugal expenditures and player development gems like Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, and of course George Springer, has made one of baseballs laughing stock franchises into a potential future MLB dynasty.