I’ve been following Carlos Correa’s career closely ever since he played for the Quad Cities River Bandits in 2013. I try to get a lot of the players’ autographs as they come through, especially ones that are being touted as good prospects like Correa. My son Owen and I were trying to get Correa’s autograph before a game one day. We were down near the dugout where everyone gathers to try to collect autographs. It was a weeknight game and there was not many people trying to get autographs that night. It was me, Owen and about 3 other older guys who had binders full of cards they were trying to get signed by all the players. None of them had gotten Carlos’ autograph yet.
We waited a while for the players to start coming out. Then we saw Carlos pop out of the dugout and everyone tried calling him over. I was calling him, and so were the 3 older guys. Carlos ignored us old guys. Then 8 year old Owen piped up and said “Carlos, will you sign this?” Carlos heard a kid’s voice, and he came over and signed Owen’s baseball and two of my pictures, and then he left. That was it. He didn’t sign anything for the 3 older guys.
Ever since then, he’s been one of Owen’s favorite players. Every once in a while when we’re talking about baseball, Owen will ask “How is Carlos doing now?” We’ve been tracking his progress. We were really bummed when he broke his leg last year. It has been great to see him come back from that so well.
Back in 2013, Correa was only 18 years old. So we was just a kid himself. It’s hard to imagine getting drafted #1 overall and signing a multi-million dollar contract at age 17. But by all accounts, Carlos has handled the expectations and demands extremely well. In fact, he was kind of acknowledged as the leader of that 2013 team that won the Midwest League championship, despite being the youngest player on that team. And it was an extremely talented team.
Someday I’m going to take Owen and the family to go see Correa play in Houston. We will try to see him when the Astros come to play here in the midwest, too, versus the White Sox or Twins or someone. But it will be a lot more fun to see him in front of the home crowd. We’ll be the ones wearing River Bandits gear.