Mark Teixeira on base in 2011
New York Yankees – No. 25
|First baseman / Designated Hitter|
April 11, 1980 |
|April 1, 2003 for the Texas Rangers|
(through 2014 season)
|Runs batted in||1,175|
Career highlights and awards
Mark Charles Teixeira (// tay-SHERR-ə; born April 11, 1980) is an American Major League Baseball first baseman for the New York Yankees. Before playing in the MLB, 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 2001 by the Texas Rangers, and made his MLB debut for them in 2003. In mid-2007 he was traded to the Atlanta Braves, and traded again in mid-2008 to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In December 2008, he agreed to a contract with the New York Yankees. Teixeira has won five Gold Glove Awards and three Silver Slugger Awards. Teixeira also holds the all-time major league record for most games with a home run from both sides of the plate, with 13.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professional career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Teixeira grew up in Severna Park, Maryland, the son of Margaret "Margy" Canterna and John Teixeira. He attended Mount Saint Joseph High School in Baltimore, Maryland, where he played for the school's varsity baseball team. His paternal grandfather emigrated from the South American country Guyana, and Teixeira has Portuguese ancestry through his father. Teixeira's mother is of Italian descent.
Teixeira was originally chosen in the ninth round of the 1998 Major League Baseball 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.
Teixeira played college baseball at Georgia Tech. In 2000, his batting average was .427, and his on-base plus slugging (OPS) was 1.319. He also won the Dick Howser Trophy as the national collegiate baseball player of the year.
In 2001, Teixeira re-entered the draft and was selected by the Texas Rangers with the fifth overall pick. The Philadelphia Phillies considered selecting him with the fourth overall pick, but the demands of Teixeira's agent Scott Boras swayed the Phillies to select Gavin Floyd. The Rangers signed Teixeira to a Major League contract worth $9.5 million over 4 years.
Teixeira began the 2002 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 10 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 2003.
Texas Rangers (2003-2007)
As a rookie in 2003, Teixeira hit .259 with 26 home runs, 84 RBI, and a .811 OPS. Teixeira began to improve in 2004, batting .281 with an OPS of .930, 38 home runs, and 112 RBI. On August 17, 2004, Teixeira hit for the cycle. For his accomplishments in 2005, 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.
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.
Teixeira's 2006 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 $15.98 million contract before the 2006 season to avoid his first two years of arbitration.
On June 9, 2007, 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 quadriceps muscle placed Teixeira on the disabled list for only the second time of his career.
Atlanta Braves (2007-2008)
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, Neftalí 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 Field'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.
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 contract for the 2008 season.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2008)
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. Through 2011, he was one of seven major leaguers to have had at least four 30-homer, 100-RBI seasons in their first five years, along with Chuck Klein, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Ralph Kiner, Albert Pujols, and Ryan Braun.
Teixeira made his postseason debut with a .467 batting average, 7 hits and an RBI. His new team of the Angels would lose the 2008 ALDS to the Boston Red Sox in 4 games. Teixeira declared for free agency at the end of the season.
New York Yankees (2009-present)
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 with the Yankees over a number of other clubs, including the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles. Teixeira wears number 25 instead of his preferred number 23, since 23 is retired in honor of Don Mattingly. Mattingly was Teixeira's childhood idol, and was the reason Teixeira wore 23 earlier in his career.
Teixeira received a World Series ring as the Yankees won the 2009 World Series, but 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 for the American League first baseman. He also finished second in the AL MVP balloting behind Twins' catcher Joe Mauer.
On May 8, 2010, he became the second Yankees player to hit three home runs in one game against the Boston Red Sox, joining Lou Gehrig, who accomplished the feat on June 23, 1927. Once again, Teixeira won the 2010 Gold Glove Award for American League first basemen. Teixeira never fully recovered from his slow start in April and May, hitting a then career-low .256, but still managed to hit 33 home runs and 108 runs batted in for the 2010 season.
On June 30, 2011, Teixeira hit his 300th career home run.
On August 2, 2011, Teixeira hit a home run from both sides of the plate in the same game for the 12th time in his career, breaking a three-way tie with Chili Davis and Eddie Murray for the most such games all-time.
Through 2011, he had the third-best career fielding percentage among major league first basemen (.996), behind Casey Kotchman and Kevin Youkilis. During the 2011 year, Teixeira batted .248 with 39 home runs and 111 RBI. Teixeira continued his postseason struggles in 2011 as he batted only .167 with 1 RBI in a 5-game ALDS loss to the Detroit Tigers.
On March 1, 2012, Teixeira hired Casey Close of Excel Sports Management to be his agent. This came almost a year after Teixeira parted ways with Boras. Close also represents fellow Yankees Derek Jeter and Masahiro Tanaka, as well as Ryan Howard.
Throughout the 2012 season, Teixeira was plagued with several health issues and injuries such as a "persistent and almost debilitating" cough caused by severe congestion of the bronchi, wrist inflammation, and a calf strain. Teixeira spent some time on the disabled list with the calf strain from late August until early September. After committing a disputed double play in a 4-5 loss against the Orioles, Teixeira aggravated his calf and was put on the DL again. He would eventually return for the season finale against the Red Sox. He finished the 2012 season with a .251 batting average, 24 home runs, and 84 RBI in 123 games played. He won a Fielding Bible Award as the best fielding first baseman in MLB.
On March 6, 2013, Teixeira suffered a strained wrist tendon while he was part of Team USA of the World Baseball Classic. Teixeira began the 2013 season on the 15-day disabled list and was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on May 14. He returned on May 31, 2013 against the Red Sox going 0-3 with a walk and scoring a run. He aggravated the wrist on June 15, 2013 and the next day, he received cortisone injections to treat the inflammation of the wrist. He was again placed on the 15-day DL due to the inflammation on June 18, 2013. Teixeira played in only 15 games during the 2013 season with a .151 average, 3 home runs, and 12 RBI. On July 1, 2013, Teixeira underwent wrist surgery and was shut down for the rest of the season.
During a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 4, 2014, Teixeira suffered a hamstring strain while attempting to fetch a foul ball. He left the game and spiked his glove in frustration while walking through the clubhouse tunnel. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list the following day on April 5, 2014. He was activated on April 20, 2014. During a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 17, 2014, Teixeira hit his 350th career home run off of Edinson Volquez. On May 31, 2014, Teixeira aggravated his wrist that was surgically repaired the previous year. He received a cortisone shot to treat the wrist and missed two games. During a game against the Orioles on June 22, 2014, Teixeira left the game after being hit in the toe of the left foot by a pitch from T. J. McFarland. X-rays came back negative on the toe injury. On September 4, 2014, Teixeira hit his 21st home run of the season, which was a game-tying, solo home run that paved the way for a walk-off 5-4 victory over the Red Sox. In 2014, Teixeira batted only .216 but still hit 22 home runs with 62 RBI limited to 123 games.
After signing his first major league contract, Teixeira set up a scholarship at his high school in honor of a friend who was killed in a car accident.
Teixeira and his family reside in Greenwich, Connecticut. His hobbies include hunting, golfing, reading, and fishing. In 2006, Teixeira and his wife Leigh Williams, who he met at Georgia Tech, established the Mark Teixeira Charitable Fund that supported six scholarships at three high schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. They have three children, sons Jack Gordan and William Charles, and daughter Addison Leigh. Mark's family ancestry is Italian and Portuguese (Guyanese).
Teixeira enjoys Broadway theatre and identifies Les Misérables as his favorite production. In August 2011, Teixeira made a cameo appearance during the eighth and final season of the HBO TV series Entourage along with teammate Alex Rodriguez. Eduardo Nunez is also seen in the cameo. Teixeira made his Broadway debut in a one-night cameo in the jukebox musical Rock of Ages on January 29, 2013. He played the role of Mark, a bartender at the fictional Bourbon Room.
During 2014 spring training, Teixeira filmed in Foul Territory, a parody interview show aired by the YES Network. He came up with the idea as a way to help the Yankees' new free agent signings to the team. The show has been described as similar in style to The Chris Farley Show and Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis.
- List of Major League Baseball home run champions
- List of Major League Baseball RBI champions
- List of top 300 Major League Baseball home run hitters
- Hitting for the cycle
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