HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Houston Astros rookie sensation Carlos Correa had a great Monday long before he arrived at Minute Maid Park.
Correa promised a young fan, who is suffering from a brain tumor, that he would remember his birthday is on Sept. 21, and he did.
Houston Christian School senior Neil Kerrigan, 18, and his friends were stunned when the Astros shortstop arrived at their school during lunch to help Neil celebrate his birthday.
“Neil came to the ballpark the other day,” Correa said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. “He told me he was a big fan of mine, and he’s battling cancer. He’s in a tough spot right now.
“He told me that his birthday was on September 21st. My birthday is on September 22nd. I told him, looking at his face and his eyes, ‘I’m going to remember your birthday.’ He said ‘would you’ and I said ‘yeah.’”
Neil could not believe Correa really did remember.
“It was a lot of fun,” Kerrigan said. “I actually have a lot of friends who knew exactly who he was. So as soon as he walked in they freaked out. Yeah, we had a good time.”
Neil’s friends were not the only ones who freaked out.
“I freaked out a bit,” Kerrigan said. “It meant so much. It was a huge honor to have him come out. When I met him at Minute Maid he told he wasn’t going to forget my birthday because his birthday was the day after mine. I said ‘alright, whatever you say,’ and just kind of left it at that.
“I didn’t think he would actually, honestly remember when my birthday was because that was awesome.
“It was phenomenal getting to see him.”
Kerrigan was at Minute Maid Park on Sept. 5 as part of a birthday present when he met Correa.
“Neil came to the ballpark the other day,” Correa said. “He told me he was a big fan of mine, and he’s battling cancer.
"I went to his school when they had lunch break, and I brought him a cake. We sang happy birthday to him.
"I told him I was going to put his name on my spikes, and I’m going to give them to him as a birthday present.”
Carlos enjoyed being with Neil as much as Neil enjoyed being with the Astros star shortstop.
"It means a lot,” Correa said. “He’s a kid who has been fighting against cancer for a long time. It’s a tough spot, not only for him, but for his family
“For me to be able to put a smile on his face and his dad’s face, his siblings’ face, it was great for me.
“When I got there his siblings went to me and they were like “thank you for doing this” and their eyes were watering. That was tough. That hits me.
“You want to be able to not only be a good baseball player, but a good citizen as well, and be able to help others.”