Severna Park Product Heads Home to Face Orioles
Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira is one of the top players in the Major Leagues.
Mark Teixeira grew up in Severna Park and one of his neighbors, Gavin Floyd, was a high school teammate at Mount St. Joseph's.
The two eventually made it to the Major Leagues via different paths–Tex was signed out of Georgia Tech by the Texas Rangers while Floyd was taken in the annual draft out of high school by the Philadelphia Phillies and now pitches for the Chicago White Sox.
Now a first baseman for the Yankees, Teixeira returns to the area as New York begins a series in Baltimore against the Orioles on Friday. While he has tons of fame and wealth, Tex has remained close to his Maryland roots. He has created a scholarship in the memory of childhood friend Nick Libertore, who was killed in a car accident when they were at Mt. St. Joe's.
Teixeria was recognized by President Obama when the Yankees visited the White House last year in recognition of their World Series title in 2009.
"Not many people get singled out by the president in a good way," said Teixeria, whom the president praised for his off-field work. "It was such an honor to start the scholarship. It was very special."
His father, John Teixeria was a Navy pilot and played high school baseball with Bucky Dent, a former shortstop for the Yankees.
The Yankee slugger was hitting .205 in games through Friday. Tex is a slow starter but this year he hit a homer in each of his first three games. He had two hits in three at bats at home April 13 in a win over the Orioles.
“I’d like to think I could keep this up all year, but obviously I’m going to have ups and downs,” Teixeira told reporters. “I’m just trying to ride this out as long as I can.”
While he is known for his hitting, Teixeira is considered one of the top-fielding first basemen in the big leagues. He also saw action at third base in college at Georgia Tech, so he has had to work on his defense.
"Playing third probably helped. The biggest thing about first base is your footwork. First base is the hot corner on the other side," he said. "It is very similar."
He was the top high school player in Maryland in 1997 and 1998 and he also played soccer and basketball at Mt. St. Joe's.
Tex is also a strong role model for children and involved in charitable pursuits off the field. He and his wife, Leigh, established a scholarship for youth in Texas and is also been involved in the Arlington Boys & Girls Club in Texas. He was named the 2006 Harold McKinney Good Guy Award by baseball writers in Texas and in 2009 he donated $500,000 to the Georgia Tech baseball program.