HOUSTON -- Take a deep breath, Astros fans. George Springer is now an ex-Astro, having agreed to sign with the Blue Jays (according to a source) following seven memorable seasons with Houston. Springer, a former first-round Draft pick, blossomed into one of the most productive and popular players in club history, culminating with winning the 2017 World Series Most Valuable Player Award.
Along the way, the high-flying outfielder made three American League All-Star teams, won two Silver Slugger Awards and made countless breathtaking catches in the outfield. Springer ranks fifth all-time in franchise history in home runs with 174, sixth in OPS at .852 and is tied with Jim Wynn for fifth in adjusted OPS+ at 131. His legacy in the Astros’ record books is secure as he moves onto another club.
Here are Springer’s top five moments in an Astros uniform:
1. World Series MVP
After going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in a Game 1 loss to the Dodgers, Springer erupted and was 11-for-25 (.440) in the next six games with five homers and seven RBIs en route to winning the MVP Award. He homered in four consecutive games, including a three-run homer in the second inning of Game 7 to give the Astros a 5-0 lead at Dodger Stadium. They won the game, 5-1, to beat the Dodgers behind Springer’s 1.471 OPS in the Series.
Springer was the third player to hit five home runs in a single Fall Classic, joining the Yankees' Reggie Jackson in 1977 and the Phillies' Chase Utley in 2009. He also set records for extra-base hits (eight) and total bases (29), and he became the first player in World Series history to homer in four straight games within a single World Series (Jackson and Lou Gehrig had done it over multiple World Series.)
Springer hit the final go-ahead home run in the top of the 11th of the Astros' 7-6 victory in an epic Game 2. In a thrilling Game 5, he made a costly misjudgment in the outfield -- diving at and missing Cody Bellinger’s RBI triple in the seventh as the Dodgers took an 8-7 lead -- but almost instantly redeemed himself with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the inning, as the Astros won, 13-12, in 10 innings.
2. Game-saving catch in Arlington
In perhaps the most athletic catch of his career, Springer -- playing right field -- robbed Rangers outfielder Leonys Martin of what would have been a walk-off grand slam in Arlington when he timed his leaping grab perfectly and pulled back Martin’s fly ball from the other side of the fence for an out to force extra innings on April 12, 2015. The Astros won, 6-4, in 11 innings.
“It was over my head for sure,” Springer said. “It was a home run, but at the time I didn't know how far over.”
Rangers players Adrián Beltré and Prince Fielder stared in disbelief into right field from the edge of the dugout as Springer ran in celebrating the grab, hugging pitcher Tony Sipp near the dugout.
''I was trying to put on my best face for TV on a walk-off,'' Sipp said. ''I thought it was a home run. One catch turns everything.''
3. Three homers in AL West clincher
Springer clobbered homers in his first three at-bats as the Astros beat the Angels, 13-5, on Sept. 22, 2019, at Minute Maid Park to clinch their third consecutive AL West title. It was his only three-homer game while with the Astros.
Springer homered in the first and second innings off Angels starter Jose Rodriguez and in the fourth inning off reliever José Suarez. His first-inning homer was his 12th leadoff homer of the season, which was one shy of the Major League single-season record of 13 set by Alfonso Soriano of the Yankees in 2003.
All three of Springer’s homers went to left field and were hit about the same distance, according to Statcast -- 377, 379 and 375 feet, respectively.
4. Franchise record-tying six hits
Springer spearheaded the Astros' biggest offensive outburst of the season, tying a franchise record by going 6-for-6, including a three-run homer, in a 16-2 win over Oakland on May 7, 2018. Springer doubled and scored in the first inning, hit a three-run, 462-foot homer in the second and then singled in the fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth innings.
"I don't even really know how to explain it," said Springer, who secured the ball in which he got his sixth and final hit. "I'm happy to get six hits in a week, let alone six hits in a game. I'm pretty speechless to be honest with you."
Springer, whose batting average jumped to .292 from .264, joined Hall of Famer Joe Morgan as the only Astros player to have six hits in a game. Morgan achieved his feat on July 8, 1965, in a 12-inning game, making Springer the only player in Astros history to get six hits in a nine-inning game.
5. Amazing catch robs Jose Abreu homer
Springer made one of the most remarkable catches of his career when he pulled back what would have been a home run off the bat of White Sox slugger José Abreu while crashing into the right-field wall in the first inning of a 2-1 loss on May 19, 2016, at U.S. Cellular Field.
Abreu hit a rocket to right field off Astros starter Collin McHugh, and Springer sprinted to the wall, twisting to look over each shoulder before leaping just in time to catch the ball as it was about to disappear over the yellow line. The catch took place right in front of the Astros' bullpen, and the relief corps jumped to their feet in appreciation.
"I knew off the bat it sounded like it went far, so you can't really tell," McHugh said. "George is just doing George things out there, which we've come to expect. He's a treat to watch out there every night."