Childhood & Early Life
Mark Teixeira was born on April 11, 1980 in Annapolis, Maryland, to Margaret ‘Margy’ Canterna and John Teixeira. His mother was a schoolteacher and his father was a former Navy officer who worked in an aerospace firm.
He started playing baseball in Mount Saint Joseph High School in Baltimore, Maryland, and won the USA Today All-USA high school baseball team award in 1998. The Boston Red Sox selected him in the MLB draft in 1998, but he turned down the offer, and instead preferred to play college baseball at Georgia Tech.
In 1999, he won the Outstanding Pro Prospect Award in the Cape Cod Baseball League while playing for the Orleans Cardinals.
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The Texas Rangers selected Mark Teixeira in 2001, and signed him to MLB for four years in a contract worth $9.5 million. He began his debut season in the Florida State League in 2002, and later moved up to play in the Double-A Tulsa Drillers. In fact, 2002 was his only season in the minor leagues.
His rookie year began in 2003. In 2004, he batted .281 with an OPS of .930, 38 home runs, and 112 RBI. Duringthe 2005 season, his performance earned him a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger Award. His fans also voted him to the All-Star Game. By finishing with 13 home runs and 30 RBI, he became the American League Player of the Month. In that season, he batted .301 with 43 home runs and 144 RBI. He also became one of the five players in MLB’s history to hit 100 home runs each in his first three seasons.
In July 2007, the Rangers offered him an eight-year, $140 million contract extension, which he refused. Instead, he joined the Atlanta Braves. In his first three games, his performance was average although he became the second player to homer in his first three games as a Brave.
In a multi-HR game in August 2007 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, he became the Player of the Week, and also won the title of the Player of the Month. In that year, he played 54 games for the Atlanta Braves, who signed him to a one-year, $12.5 million contract for the 2008 season.
In July 2008, he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and helped the team achieve its first 100-win season in franchise history. In December 2008, he signed an eight-year contract with the New York Yankees at $180 million plus a $5 million signing bonus, which included a no-trade clause.
In 2009, he led the Yankees to win the World Series and won a World Series ring. However, post season he struggled to maintain his performance. Despite his slight loss of form, many of his hits were very significant and he was awarded the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.
Throughout 2012, Teixeira faced several health issues and injuries.First he suffered from severe cough, followed by wrist pain and a calf strain. As a result, he was put on the disabled list for some time. After he played a game against the Orioles, he aggravated his calf strain, and was put on the disabled list once again. However, at the end of the season, he achieved a .251 batting average, 24 home runs, and 84 RBI. His performance earned him a Gold Glove Award and a Fielding Bible Award as the best fielding first baseman in MLB.
In March 2013, he was down with a strained wrist tendon, and was put on the disabled list for 15 days which was eventually extended to 60 days till May. On May 31, he played against the Red Sox, which aggravated the wrist problem and led to a wrist surgery in July. He ultimately played only 15 games during the season.
He suffered several injuries and health problems in 2014 and 2015 as well. While he was playing against the Toronto Blue Jays in April 2014, he suffered a major hamstring injury and had to leave the game mid-way. In May, his wrist problem aggravated and he had to undergo a surgery. However, he bounced back soon and led his team to a victory against the Red Sox in September.
During the 2015 season, he managed to hit the most home runs in a season since 2011, and secured his third All-Star team inclusion. During a game against the Minnesota Twins in August, he suffered a deep bone bruise in his leg. He had to leave for New York to consult the Yankees’ head team physician. In September, after a fracture in his shin was found, he had to quit the season.
In August 2016, Teixeira, who was then 36, announced his retirement. It was then the final year of the contract that he had signed with the Yankees.
Awards & Achievements
In 2000, Mark Teixeira became the Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Player of the Year. In the same year, he also became the Baseball America College Player of the Year, and won the College Baseball All-America Team award.
He won the Major League Baseball All-Star in 2005, 2009, and 2015. In 2004 and 2007, he earned the Major League Baseball Player of the Month Award. He secured the Major League Baseball Player of the Week Award six times in his career.
He won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2012. He was honoured with the Silver Slugger Award in 2004, 2005, and 2009.
He became the World Series Champion in 2009.
Mark Teixeira met Leigh Williams at Georgia Tech, and married her in 2002. He has a daughter Addison Leigh Teixeira, and two sons, Jack Gordan Teixeira and William Charles Teixeira.
In 2006, he established the Mark Teixeira Charitable Fund and introduced a scholarship in honor of his childhood friend Nick Liberatore who was killed in a car accident at the age of 16. That year, he granted six $5,000 scholarships to high school students.