The World Series MVP may have never played baseball if not for a chance game of catch with a future big leaguer when he was 8 years old

After an absolutely enthralling seven game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Houston Astros are World Series champions and centerfielder George Springer was named World Series MVP.

Springer earned the award with huge swings, tying Reggie Jackson's World Series record with five home runs over the course of the series, including some incredibly clutch hits in the extra innings nail-biters that came to define the series.

Since he was taken by the Astros in the first round of the 2011 draft, Springer was seen as a potential star of a future Astros dynasty, even gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated when the magazine boldly predicted that the team would become 2017 World Series Champions three years before it became a reality.

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LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: A general view during the national anthem before game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Yu Darvish #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on during the second inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is hit by a pitch during the third inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros reacts after hitting a two-run home run during the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts during the fourth inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 1: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during Game 7 of the 2017 World Series against the Houston Astrosat Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he bats during the third inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 1: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros is congratulated by teammates as he returns to the dugout after hitting his second inning two-run home run during Game 7 of the 2017 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Francisco Liriano #46 of the Houston Astros pitches during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros steals third base during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts at second base during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers talks with Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros at second base during the sixth inning in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Corey Seager #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers breaks his bat and grounds out during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 1: Carlos Correa #1 and Yuli Gurriel #10 of the Houston Astros head back to the dugout during Game 7 of the 2017 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by LG Patterson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Charlie Morton #50 of the Houston Astros celebrates after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in game seven with a score of 5 to 1 to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 1: Charlie Morton #50 and Brian McCann #16 of the Houston Astros celebrate after the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alex TrautwigMLB Photos via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Marwin Gonzalez #9, Alex Bregman #2, Jose Altuve #27, and Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: The Houston Astros celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Nov 1, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel (10) celebrates after forcing out Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager (5) in the 9th inning to win game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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But Springer might have never made it to the majors had it not been for a chance encounter with Torii Hunter during Springer's youth.

As Tom Verducci wrote in a profile of Springer back in August for Sports Illustrated, the future Astros slugger was just eight years old when he was attending a New Britain Rock Cats game, the Double-A affiliate for the Minnesota Twins. While Springer was scavaging for batting practice home run balls one day, a then-minor league playing Hunter asked if the 8-year-old Springer wanted to play catch.

"He changed my life," Springer says. "I got a chance to play catch at the time with what I thought was a big leaguer. I didn’t know any better. He’s playing on a big diamond in a stadium with lights and a big scoreboard. It made me want to play baseball even more."

"There was something about the way he played, the style of his game, that I became interested in. He was always having fun, climbing a wall if he had to, sliding into home plate headfirst. I gravitated toward that stuff. He became my idol that day."

The rest, as they say, is history. Springer went on to get drafted, make the majors, and became friends with Hunter after being reintroduced in the big leagues. And now, he's a World Series champion and MVP.

See the best photos from the Series: 

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The best photos from the 2017 World Series
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The best photos from the 2017 World Series
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Logan Forsythe #11 of the Los Angeles Dodgers scores a run on a RBI single hit by Enrique Hernandez #14 (not pictured) to tie the game 5-5 during the tenth inning as Brian McCann #16 of the Houston Astros is unable to make the tag in game two of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers licks his bat during the seventh inning against the Houston Astros in game two of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates after hitting a solo home run during the fifth inning against the Houston Astros in game two of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Oct 28, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Joc Pederson (31) hits a three-run home run against the Houston Astros in the 9th inning in game four of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24: Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros throws a pitch during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game one of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers loses his hat as he attempts to catch a RBI single hit by Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros (not pictured) during the third inning in game two of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Corey Seager #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game two of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Houston Astros runs the bases after hitting a solo home run during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game two of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Carlos Correa #1 and Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros celebrate after hitting solo home runs during the tenth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game two of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Logan Forsythe #11 of the Los Angeles Dodgers scores a run on a RBI single hit by Enrique Hernandez #14 (not pictured) to tie the game 5-5 during the tenth inning against the Houston Astros in game two of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros celebrates in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the eleventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game two of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 27: Yuli Gurriel #10 of the Houston Astros hits a solo home run during the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game three of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 27, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 27: Josh Reddick #22 of the Houston Astros slides in to home plate during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game three of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 27, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 27: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers scores on a wild pitch by Brad Peacock #41 of the Houston Astros during the sixth inning in game three of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 27, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 28: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he hits a RBI double during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros in game four of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 29: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros dives and fails to make a catch on a RBI triple by Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (not pictured) during the seventh inning in game five of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 29: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers gestures after hitting a three-run home run during the fifth inning against the Houston Astros in game five of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Oct 29, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger (35) climbs into the stands to catch a foul ball hit by Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (not pictured) in the 9th inning in game five of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 30: Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros hits a game-winning single during the tenth inning against Kenley Jansen #74 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 30: Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros celebrates with teammates after hitting a game-winning single during the tenth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2017 in Houston, Texas. The Astros defeated the Dodgers 13-12. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 30: Derek Fisher #21 of the Houston Astros slides in to home plate scoring the game winning run during the tenth inning against Austin Barnes #15 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2017 in Houston, Texas. The Astros defeated the Dodgers 13-12. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Nov 1, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Astros center fielder George Springer (4) celebrates with teammates Jose Altuve (27) , Alex Bregman (2) and Marwin Gonzalez (9) after hitting a two-run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second inning in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Nov 1, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel (10) celebrates after forcing out Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager (5) in the 9th inning to win game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Nov 1, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Astros pitcher Charlie Morton (50) and catcher Brian McCann (16) celebrate with teammates after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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