Carlos Correa’s walk-off homer in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series meant the Houston Astros’ World Series dreams were still in good shape. It meant fans in Houston had every reason to go nuts Sunday night. And it meant something even more special to a 16-year-old fan battling cancer.
Last week, Correa and his fiancée Daniella Rodriguez visited Jalen Garcia in a Houston hospital. He’s from nearby Laredo and batting osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. Rodriguez is also from Laredo and went to the same high school Jalen does.
Before he left, Correa told Jalen: “The next home run that I hit is going to be for you. When you see me pointing up, I want you to know that I'm pointing at you.”
In the immediate aftermath of Correa’s Game 2 homer, everybody was talking about what it meant for the Astros and Correa’s swagger-filed celebration. But both Correa and Rodriguez were thinking about Garcia too.
She later told ABC-13 in Houston:
"I looked up at him, and I was like, the first person I thought about was Jalen, and [Correa] goes, 'You know what, so did I!'"
"It was so crazy, like, the fact that — I really feel like that adrenaline that Carlos had, and knowing that Jalen was in his mind really helped him push even harder," Rodriguez said.
Correa’s homer was a great moment before we knew this additional layer of backstory. Now that we do, it makes it even more special.
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