Torii Hunter didn't know it in 1997, but he was playing catch with a future World Series MVP.
Of course, we're talking about Houston Astros leadoff hitter and center fielder George Springer, who was named World Series MVP following Houston's Game 7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
Springer tied a World Series record with five homers in the series, including a big 2-run shot in Game 7.
Rewind Springer's life 20 years and you'll find a little boy watching games from the stands at a ballpark in New Britain, Connecticut, the former home of the Minnesota Twins' double-A affiliate.
It was on a night in 1997 when Springer was in the stands, playing catch with a player on the field. That player was Hunter, just 21 at the time. Hunter told the story during a Twins-Astros game earlier this season.
"When I was in Double-A, I think '97, I saw a kid in the stands and I went to play catch him," Hunter explained. "He was about 7, 8, 9-years-old. I always wondered what happened to the kid, every once in a while I'd think about it. In 2013 I was with the Tigers and Bo Porter called me over and said, 'Hey, I want you to meet George Springer.' I meet this guy, and he came up to me and said, 'Hey I'm George Springer. I was the kid in the stands in New Britain.' I was like, 'Are you kidding me?!'"
Springer was actually drafted by the Twins out of high school but he chose to play in college at UConn instead.