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Sep 15, 2023

This fall the Connecticut Museum is hosting the Smithsonian traveling exhibition ¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas. It explores the historic role that baseball has played as a social and cultural force within Latino communities across the world, and how Latinos in particular have influenced and changed the game. 


You can’t find a better local story about baseball, family, and community than that of the Springer family of New Britain. In this episode, Natalie Belanger chats with George Springer, Jr. George is a very proud dad. His daughters Nicole and Lena played collegiate softball, and both went on to play for the Puerto Rican National team. His son, George Springer III, plays right field for the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2017, when he played for the Houston Astros, he was an MLB All-Star and named World Series MVP. 


But if George Jr. Is a proud dad, he’s equally a proud son. You’ll hear him tell the story of how his dad, George Springer Senior, migrated to Connecticut from Panama in the 1950s and blazed a trail as an educator, overcoming racial prejudice that denied him access to some jobs, all while instilling a love of sports in his son.  George tells us about the ways that sports, particularly baseball, helped to foster community in the ethnically diverse towns like Bristol and New Britain where he and his dad raised their families.  


You can learn more about the Springer family and the Pleibol exhibition at The exhibition is open through November 5, 2023. 


image: 1976 Forestville Little League World Series team, George Springer Jr. pictured, courtesy of the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame.


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This episode of Grating the Nutmeg was produced by Natalie Belanger and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan at

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