Tuesday marks the first time Carlos Correa will return to Houston. The 27-year-old shortstop spent the first seven years of his career with the Astros, before signing with the Minnesota Twins in the offseason. In 2012 Correa became the first of three consecutive number one picks to be made by the club. Alongside all-star second baseman Jose Altuve and fellow high draft picks George Springer and Alex Bregman, the Astros reached three World Series in five seasons. Correa and company won the 2017 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Along the way, Correa became a two-time all-star, Rookie of the Year, and Platinum Glove winner. However, he also embraced his role as the Astros emotional leader and became a fan favorite forever in Houston. And to honor his return to H-Town, a countdown of Correa’s five best moments while wearing an Astros Jersey.
Honorable Mention: Game 2 of 2017 World Series: Bromance Goes Back-to-Back
In seven seasons Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve became one of the best up-the-middle duos in MLB history. Between the two of them, they saved 56 runs defensively and launched 317 home runs including the postseason. And when the duo each hit home runs the Astros went a perfect 4-0 in the playoffs. Their first time doing so coming in back-to-back fashion in game 2 of the 2017 World Series. The extra-inning blasts helped clinch the first World Series victory in Astros history. Funnily enough, the pitcher in which they hit their home runs off was Josh Fields, who was infamously traded a year prior for then minor leaguer Yordan Alvarez.
5: Game 2 of 2019 ALCS: Correa Nabs LeMahieu at the Plate
Even at 6’4 and 215 pounds, Correa was a fluid athlete and that athleticism helped him make some spectacular defensive plays throughout his tenure. Perhaps none more meaningful than this robbery of the Yankees in 2019. As Correa came from the other side of the base to retrieve a ball that ricocheted off Altuve’s glove and delivered a strike to prevent DJ Lemahieu from scoring. It was the final out of the inning and kept the game tied at two.
4: Game 2 of 2017 ALCS: Correa’s First Postseason Walk-Off
3: Game 5 of 2020 ALCS: Correa Calls His Shot
Despite posting his worst offensive season in 2020, Correa once again raised his play in the postseason. Through the first 10 games of the playoffs, Correa posted a team-high 1.270 OPS. And after falling behind 3-0 in the series, the Astros took game four and found themselves locked in a tight game five. With the score tied at three in the bottom of the ninth Correa made his way to the plate. It was reported that moments prior had this to say to manager Dusty Baker, “Walk off.”
2: Game 2 of 2019 ALCS: Hand to the Ear
The defensive heroics of Correa in the top of the sixth proved to be invaluable as the score remained unchanged into the bottom half of the eleventh. But just one pitch was all Correa needed to end it. Belting an opposite-field homer off yet another former Astros pitcher, J.A. Happ. However, the celebration may have been even better. Correa bounced down the first base line with his hand to his ear soaking in the roars of Minute Maid Park as he played hero once again.
1: Game 1 of 2021 ALCS: It’s My Time
One of the most iconic home run celebrations in recent history also served as Correa’s last home run in an Astros jersey. It came an inning after his running mate Altuve tied the game at three and with his team needing a spark late in the game, Correa did what he always had and delivered. He instantly knew it was gone and before leaving the batter’s box looked at his dugout and tapped his wrist to let his teammates know it was his time.
It was Correa’s time. It always had been when the lights were at their brightest. However, Astros fans remember Correa as that light all the way back in 2012. Attaching their hopes to a 17-year-old boy to carry them out of their darkest times. They watched as that 17-year-old boy from Puerto Rico became a Rookie of the Year, an All-Star, and eventually a World Series champion. They watched as off the field he got married, had a son, and fought for his teammates in the media. He gave everything to Houston, and they gave everything back. Forever attached to the story of Houston sports. With that being said, It’s Our Time, to welcome you home Carlos.
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