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During the Toronto Blue Jays’ visit to Anaheim, Calif., last weekend, outfielder George Springer was able to reunite with a young fan he met three years ago.
In 2019, while Springer was still on the Houston Astros, he saw six-year-old Brandon Kelly in the crowd, holding up a sign that read “Springer, I stutter too!” As an outspoken person who has dealt with public speaking and stuttering his whole life, the baseball star went over and gave Kelly his batting gloves and had a lengthy conversation about their similar issue.
Fast-forward three years and now wearing different colours, Springer caught eyes with the same familiar sign during batting practice and was able to see Kelly once again to catch-up.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 29, 2022
The story behind George Springer's relationship with Brandon, a young fan who caught his attention in 2019 with a "George, I stutter too" sign
Absolutely awesome pic.twitter.com/ziNucneMzD
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) May 29, 2022
Springer is the national spokesperson for The Stuttering Association for the Young, a non-profit that has the goal of empowering and supporting young people who stutter.
“Kids need to know that it will get easier, eventually you will figure out who you want to be and who you are, but in the process it’s going to be hard,” Springer said in 2019. “It took me until I was almost 24, 25 to realize that I’m going to embrace [stuttering]. I am who I am and whatever happens, happens.
“You can be who you want to be and do what you want to do in life, it’s just going to take you a little bit longer to say what you want to say, and there isn’t anything wrong with that.”
Along with being an inspiration for stuttering kids around the world, Springer is a pretty good baseball player, too. Through 45 games this season, the 32-year-old has earned a .273 batting average along with a team-leading .867 OPS.
Springer and the Blue Jays are currently riding high on a five-game winning streak, pushing their season record to 27-20. That is surely giving Brandon lots to cheer about.
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