When the Houston Astros became World Series champions Wednesday night for the first time in history, the team’s Puerto Rican players made sure to use the spotlight to show their love for their beleaguered island.
There’s no doubt that the team's boricuas, as Puerto Ricans are also known — which include Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, slugger Carlos Beltrán, backup catcher Juan Centeno, coach Alex Cintrón and bench coach Alex Cora — want the best for their island.
Correa told ESPN in an interview before his World Series win that returning to Puerto Rico with a World Series ring would give the island — ravaged by Hurricane Maria — a little hope.
“A World Series win would really mean a lot — not everything, but a lot,” Correa told ESPN. “Obviously a lot of stuff is going on over there, but we're able to bring a little bit of joy and happiness through baseball to the fans in Puerto Rico, and that really means a lot to us.”
The players made their own feelings about returning to the island as World Series champions even clearer after the game seven win.
After the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5 - 1, Correa held up the Puerto Rican flag and dedicated the win to the island.
Correa also used the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend of over a year and former Miss Texas USA, Daniella Rodriguez, during a live broadcast.
Rodriguez said yes.
Following the win, Beltrán, who has a more than 20 years long career in baseball, had tears rolling down his face.
And after the game, Cintrón, Correa, Beltrán, Centeno and Cora also posed together behind the Puerto Rican flag.
In an television interview with WAPA-TV, one of the island's Puerto Rican television stations — Correa’s father, Carlos Correa Sr., hoped that the Astros’ boricuas would bring the World Series trophy to the island.
“I hope that [Carlos Beltrán] can convince the Astros’ owner to come to Puerto Rico to celebrate with the people of Puerto Rico who need it so much,” Correa Sr. shared.
Prior to the world series game, Centeno described the lengths Puerto Ricans on the island were going to just to support the Astros’ boricuas.
“My dad found a way to connect the TV to a car battery, and that's how he is watching the game,” Centeno told ESPN. “There are like 10 people, 20 people in my house watching the games out of a battery [from a] car. And the happiness it brings them — you know how Puerto Ricans are: We're always passionate about baseball, any sport.”
Unfortunately, these all-star boricuas won’t be together for much longer.
Alex Cora has been appointed the new Red Sox manager.