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Correa thrilled to meet childhood hero Pujols

Astros rookie was 6 years old when Angels star debuted

ANAHEIM -- The two-plus minutes it took the instant-replay umpire to review a play in the second inning of Monday's game allowed Astros rookie shortstop Carlos Correa a chance to meet Angels slugger Albert Pujols, who was one of Correa's childhood heroes growing up in Puerto Rico.

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Correa, who went 3-for-6 with four RBIs and finished a triple shy of the cycle in Tuesday's 13-3 win over the Angels, had a chance to talk to Pujols when he walked during Monday's game, and when the two posed for a picture together during batting practice Tuesday, it was clear Pujols was as happy to get to know Correa as Correa was to meet him.

"He's a guy I admired, a guy I looked up to when I was growing up," Correa said. "He's obviously a great player and one of the greatest hitters in the game. It's good to talk to guys like that who have knowledge of the game and can help you with some stuff."

Correa, 20, was 6 years old when Pujols made his debut at 21 years old in 2001 for the Cardinals, and 571 homers and three MVPs later, Pujols is still considered one of the most feared sluggers in the game. He leads the American League with 23 homers.

"I take this as a blessing I get to be here with great players like him," Correa said. "It's fun to be able to play on the field."

Last week in Denver, Correa got a signed bat from Rockies All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, and he said he's looking forward to meeting other players he grew up watching as he makes the rounds in the American League.

"That's really cool, man," he said. "It means a lot. A guy who's going to be in the Hall of Fame one day, it's great to be playing against him."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
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