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Mark Charles Teixeira ( , ; born April 11, 1980, in ) is an Americanmarker Major League Baseball player for the New York Yankees. Primarily a first baseman, he has also played third base and in the outfield. He played college baseball at Georgia Tech, where in 2001 he won the Dick Howser Trophy as the national collegiate baseball player of the year.

Teixeira was drafted in by the Texas Rangers, and made his MLB debut for them in . In mid- he was traded to the Atlanta Braves, and traded again in mid- to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In December 2008, he agreed to a contract with the New York Yankees. Teixeira has thrice won the Gold Glove Award and twice won the Silver Slugger Award.


Early life

Teixeira grew up in Severna Park, Marylandmarker, and attended Mount Saint Joseph High Schoolmarker in Baltimoremarker, Maryland, where he played for the school's varsity baseball team.

Baseball career

Teixeira was originally chosen in the ninth round of the Major League Draft by the Boston Red Sox. Teixeira chose not to sign with the Red Sox, however, opting instead to play college baseball for Georgia Tech.

College career

Teixeira played college baseball at Georgia Tech. In , his batting average was .427, and his OPS was 1.319. He also won the Dick Howser Trophy as the national collegiate baseball player of the year.

Professional career

Texas Rangers
Teixeira as a member of the Rangers.
In 2001, Teixeira re-entered the draft and was selected by the Texas Rangers with the fifth overall pick. The Philadelphia Phillies were considering drafting him with the fourth pick until Teixeira's agent, Scott Boras, advised the Phillies against it . The Phillies looked to avoid another J.D. Drew-type situation (Drew held out and re-entered the draft under Boras' advice) and passed on Teixeira.

Teixeira began the season in the Florida State League, where he batted .320 with an OPS of 1.000 in 38 games. He was then moved up to the Double-A Tulsa Drillers, with whom he batted .316 with a .994 OPS and hit ten home runs in 48 games. It turned out that 2002 would be his only season in the minor leagues; he made the Rangers out of spring training in .

As a rookie in 2003, Teixeira batted .259 with a .811 OPS and 26 home runs. He improved on these numbers in , batting .281 with an OPS of .930, 38 home runs, and 112 RBI. On August 17, 2004, he hit for the cycle. For his accomplishments in , he earned the Silver Slugger Award as the best-hitting first baseman in the American League as well as the Gold Glove signifying his place as the best fielding first baseman in the American League. He was also named to his first All-Star Game after winning the fan voting portion of the selection to be named the starting first baseman for his league. During the game, Teixeira hit a home run from the right hand side of the plate, something he had failed to do in the entire first half of the season. In a five game span around the All-Star Game, Teixeira hit five home runs with 13 RBI. He finished July with 13 home runs and 30 RBI and was named the American League Player of the Month. Overall, Teixeira batted .301 with 43 home runs and 144 RBI in the 2005 season.

On Mother's Day, May 14, 2006, Teixeira was one of more than 50 hitters who brandished a pink bat to benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation.

Teixeira's season began slowly, as he collected only nine home runs before the All-Star Break. After the All-Star Break, however, he was among the league's leaders in home runs, and again finished with over 30 homers and 100 RBI for the season.

Teixeira agreed to a two-year $15.4 million contract before the 2006 season to avoid his first two years of arbitration.

On June 9, , Teixeira's franchise record 507 consecutive-game streak came to an end. Teixeira landed awkwardly at first base after running out a grounder in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers the previous day. The streak was second to Miguel Tejada at the time. The strained quadricep placed Teixeira on the disabled list for only the second time of his career.

Atlanta Braves
Teixeira at bat in his debut game with the Braves on August 1, 2007.
Teixeira went one-for-four with a three-run home run and four RBIs.

In July 2007, two weeks after turning down an eight-year, $140 million contract extension from the Rangers, Teixeira was traded to the Atlanta Braves (along with left-handed reliever Ron Mahay) for catcher/first baseman Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and four prospects: shortstop Elvis Andrus, and starting pitchers Matt Harrison, Neftali Feliz and Beau Jones. Teixeira was activated for that night's game against the Houston Astros and arrived in the dugout during the seventh inning. He was promptly shown on Turner Fieldmarker's high definition video board and received a boisterous applause from the Atlanta crowd.

In his Braves debut on August 1, 2007, Teixeira hit a 3-run homer and drove in 4 runs in a 12–3 rout of the Houston Astros. Teixeira went on to homer in each of the following two games, becoming just the second player to homer in his first three games as a Brave - the first being Gary Sheffield in 2002.

Teixeira with the Braves in 2008.
On August 19, 2007, Teixeira had his first multi-HR game against the Arizona Diamondbacks off Yusmeiro Petit. He would repeat that feat the next day, going deep for two three-run home runs versus the Cincinnati Reds. Teixeira, a switch-hitter, hit both homers on the 19th batting from the left side of the plate, and hit his homers on the 20th from the right side. He was named co-NL Player of the Week from August 20-26 by slugging .793 with three home runs and as expected, he was awarded NL Player of the Month for August. On September 22, Teixeira had his first walk-off hit with the Braves when he singled in Willie Harris giving the Braves a 4-3 extra-inning victory.

In 54 games with Atlanta in 2007, Teixeira batted .317 with 17 home runs and 56 RBI. The Braves avoided arbitration in the 2007 offseason and signed Teixeira to a one-year, $12.5 million dollar contract for the season.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
In July 2008, Teixeira was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Casey Kotchman and minor league pitcher Stephen Marek. Batting third in the Angel order, Teixeira hit .358 with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs after the trade to help his new team to their first 100 win season in franchise history. Teixeira became a free agent following the World Series.

New York Yankees
Teixeira in the field at first base.
In December 2008, Teixeira agreed preliminarily to a deal with the New York Yankees worth $180 million over 8 years, and he was formally introduced as a Yankee on January 6, 2009. The contract included a full no-trade clause, plus a $5 million signing bonus. He signed for the Yankees over a number of other clubs, including the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles. O's fans, distraught at the fact that he had turned down his hometown club, loudly booed him and even tossed Monopoly money in his direction during 2009's first Yankees-Orioles series at Camden Yardsmarker. Teixeira is wearing number 25 instead of his preferred number 23, since 23 is retired in honor of Don Mattingly. Mattingly was Teixeira's boyhood idol, and was the reason Teixeira wore 23 earlier in his career.

In the 2009 season, he lead the AL in both home runs (tied with Carlos Pena of Tampa Bay) with 39, and RBIs with 122.

The Yankees won the 2009 World Series, but Teixeira struggled offensively throughout the postseason, batting only .180 overall and .136 in the World Series. However, several of his hits proved very important, including a walk-off home run in Game 2 of the ALDS and a game-tying home run in Game 2 of the World Series. Additionally, he made several stellar defensive plays in all rounds of the playoffs.

For the 2009 season, Teixeira was awarded both the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards at first base in the American League. He also finished second in the AL MVP balloting behind Twins' catcher Joe Mauer.

Making history

In 2005, Teixeira became the third switch-hitter in MLB history to hit at least 20 home runs in each of his first three seasons, after Eddie Murray and Chipper Jones. He is also one of just five players in Major League history to hit at least 100 home runs in his first three seasons, joining Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio, Ralph Kiner, and Eddie Mathews as well as current first base star, Albert Pujols. Other players - Mark McGwire, José Canseco, Todd Helton, Ryan Howard - have hit 100+ home runs in their first three full seasons, but these players had all played partial seasons prior to playing their first three full seasons. His 2005 total of 144 RBI is a Major League record for a switch-hitter.

Personal life

Mark and his family reside in Greenwich, Connecticutmarker. Teixeira's hobbies include hunting, golfing, reading and fishing. His uncle, Pete, played in the Braves' minor league system. In 2006, Mark and his wife Leigh established the Mark Teixeira Charitable Fund that supported six $5,000 scholarships at three high schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. They have two children, son Jack Gordan and daughter Addison Leigh. Mark's family ancestry is Portuguese.

Teixeira enjoys Broadway theatremarker and identifies Les Misérables as his favorite production.

See also


  2. Mark Teixeira: Biography and Career Highlights:

External links

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