Why Carlos Correa's walk-off homer was even more special for a Houston teen battling cancer

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.”

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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.

Correa kept his word and pointed to the sky as he rounded the bases — and Rodriguez immediately jumped on Instagram and posted a video for Jalen in her story while the celebration was still going on.

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa points to the sky after his walk-off homer in Game 2 of the ALCS vs. the Yankees. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa points to the sky after his walk-off homer in Game 2 of the ALCS vs. the Yankees. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)


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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Mike Oz is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @mikeoz

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