Mark Teixeira Impressive in His Yankee Debut

Perry ArnoldSenior Analyst IJanuary 7, 2009

The most successful team in sports history introduced a new star yesterday.

Mark Teixeira was brought before the press in old Yankee Stadium and was certainly impressive.

Yankee announcer, Michael Kay, pointed out that Teixeira seemed to be beaming as he waited to be introduced.

It was obvious that he was all smiles and he seemed genuinely happy to be coming to the fishbowl that is the New York Yankees.

Many fans were not aware that Teixeira had grown up a fan of the Yankees and particularly of Don Mattingly.

Tex told the press that as a kid, growing up in Baltimore, and in a family that had season tickets to the Orioles games, his favorite player was Donnie Baseball.

He said he was very happy that number "23" would stay in Monument Park as he donned "25" as his Yankee number.

He talked of wearing a Yankee cap to O's games when it was "dangerous" to do so.

He said that he had always wanted to play for the Yankees, that he was happy to be playing in a city that was closer to his family.

His mother and father still live in the Baltimore area and a sister and her family live just across the river from New York in Hoboken, New Jersey.

And his wife, Leigh, still has family is in the Atlanta area.

Teixeira said that it was his wife who finally convinced him to try to sign with the Yankees.

After telling him for some time that she just wanted him to play where he would be happy, she finally told him she wanted him to be a Yankee.

And it seemed that that was what he had wanted all along too. So he finally told his agent, Scott Boras, to make it happen.

Texeira spoke about how happy he was to be a Yankee and how he enjoyed coming to the old Yankee Stadium—which was his favorite old field to play on as an opposing player. 

The first baseman said he felt privileged to be able to be on the first team to play in the New Yankee Stadium. Teixeira also said all the right things about the teams with which he did not sign.

Teixeira was asked whether any past issues with the Boston Red Sox had kept him from going to Beantown.

And he said no, that his relations with owner, John Henry, General Manager, Theo Epstein, and manager, Terry Francona, had been very good.

He described Francona in particular as being a fine gentleman and someone he really liked.

Asked about leaving Los Angeles, he said that he had really enjoyed playing for the Angels and that he wished the West Coast team all the best.

He was diplomatic, well spoken, assertive and confident.

And he said that he could handle the pressure in New York because no one would put more pressure on him than he put on himself. He promised to work very hard to make himself better and to do all he could to help lead New York to another World Series ring.

Everyone who spoke about Teixeira yesterday had glowing things to say. Of course nothing else would have been expected in his coming out party.

But by all reports he is a consummate sports professional who works very hard at all aspects of his game, who is always approachable and is just as good in the clubhouse as he is on the field.

The few years he has spent in the majors so far allow Yankee fans to have high hopes of his success in New York.

While nothing is guaranteed with any player ever, Mark Teixeira gave every indication yesterday that he is exactly where he wanted to be, that his family is very happy that he is in New York and that his goals have only gone up since signing with the Yanks.


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