Mark Teixeira is retiring, and his legacy will be that he was one of the best baseball players of his generation.

He was also so much more than that. He tried to do everything right. He prepared meticulously and relentlessly.

He prided himself on being a good teammate and on putting the bottom line in front of his personal accomplishments.

He was accountable on every level, a stand-up guy who deflected praise and accepted blame.

Teixeira understood that Major League Baseball had given him a platform he could use to make the world a better place.

He was involved in an array of charitable work, but his heart was in the Harlem charter school he helped build.

That school has a 95-percent graduation rate, and in part because of Teixeira’s work, countless kids had college doors opened for them.

His decision to retire at the end of this season will allow his career to be placed in a larger perspective.

Is he a Hall of Famer?

He’s in the conversation. He’s 55th on the all-time home run list with 404 and 123rd with 1,281 RBIs.

His 52.1 WAR is tied with Mickey Cochrane for 170th on the all-time list. He’s just in front of a handful of Hall of Famers, most notably Kirby Puckett and Orlando Cepeda.

Really, though, Teixeira had two distinctly different carers, which isn’t unusual. Before injuries to his back, wrist and legs began to take their toll, he was a monster of a player.

In his first nine seasons (2003-2011), he averaged 35 home runs, 36 doubles, 113 RBIs and a .904 OPS.

During those nine seasons, he was fifth among all players in home runs, sixth in doubles, fourth in RBIs and 15th in OPS.

He was also a three-time All-Star, a three-time Silver Slugger winner and a five-time Gold Glove winner.

He never won an MVP Award, but finished second to Joe Mauer in 2009.

In the end, he was one of those guys who did the game proud. Whether that gets him into Cooperstown is a discussion for another time. Baseball was lucky to have him as long as it did.

13 Comments

Perhaps all these accolades are deserved. But anyone who suggests that if Tex had remained a Texas Ranger, an Atlanta Brave, an LA Angel, he’d still be held in such exulted acclaim is naïve. He spent eight years with America’s team and that’s why you, and everyone else, sings his praises to the level you do. He’ll of course wear a Yankees hat on his Hall of Fame bust but for the next three years, until America’s Shortstop and the All-time Greatest, Most Clutch, Most Spectacular closer are welcomed into Cooperstown, Mickey Mantle is the last Hall of Famer produced by the Yankees system. Mickey Mantle, who came up in 1951, retired in 1967.
How many Hall of Famers from other teams have played for the Yanks since? Nobody ever, ever, points out how this team wins with other teams’ stat players and it’s quite aggravating.

Bruh you are dumb as hell Derek jeter is not even top 5 on a all time Shortstops list and Americas team my ass their new Yorks shitty team not mine you dumbass Yankees fan.

With all due respect, “Hall of Fame bust”
You have to be kidding me!!! The only true word of those four is a bust! A $185 million bust!! A couple of good years rest of the time he was injured or had a low 200s batting average and always managed to ground out with runners in scoring position. Good riddance.

Mark Texiera was one of the worst clutch hitters I’ve ever seen…atleast with the Yankees anyway. The last time he had a walk off hit for the Yankees was in May of 2011. He was always good for a “garbage time” solo homer, or a meaningless 3 – run jack when the game was already out of reach. His best year with the Yanks was his first – 2009. After that, his career started a slow decline. The biggest hit he ever got was his game winning homer in extra innings against the Twins in the playoffs.

Definitely not a Hall of Famer. Good riddance! I can’t wait for Greg Bird to be our first baseman.

Good riddance Tex!
from the Boooog Pows

The play that typifies Texiera’s drive and that will always define his career for me was in the Subway Series with the Mets a few years back. Jeter is on second and Texiera is on first with two outs in the ninth. Rodriguez hit a pop up to shallow right. Castillo goes back, and while K-Rod is celebrating the win, Castillo drops the ball. Jeter scores easily. Texiera, unlike the vast majority of major league ballplayers, is running his butt off from the time the ball hits the bat. He never sees the play is muffed. He just runs all out on what should have been a routine third out. He manages to score from first on a pop up that would normally be caught 999 times out of 1000. He hustled like this always. Nothing was routine for him. Everything demanded his all out effort. I will always respect and value him for that.

A great defensive 1st baseman. He saved a lot of infielders including Jeter. He is a borderline Hall of Famer. However as a Yankee fan I’m glad to see him go. I never saw him as a good locker room guy. Hopefully the Yankees will find a way to retire ARod. Then they can work on getting rid of Gardner, Ellsbury, McCan, Sabbathia & Headley. Let the youth movement begin.

Perfect example of how the numbers don’t totally make a player. Yes, good numbers, but never a Hall of Famer. Please. I agree with Tony above, let’s continue the youth movement.

Met him when he was at Georgia tech and played in the Cape Cod league. Really nice, polite guy. Really good career, died at the end.

You must be kidding me! Tex was One of the worst signings the Yankees ever made. He had a couple of good years and it was definitely an excellent defense of first baseman but was often injured and absolutely stunk at the plate for years with his low 200s average, and ground outs with men in scoring position. He is a gentleman and retired when his time was up knowing that he was surely not being re-signed next year by any team after his final season and his .186 batting average. Enjoy your millions and good riddance.

Good baseball player. Good numbers, for a while. Not quite hall worthy though.

That’s right; pretty good numbers. But, I’ll take Mattingly and Tino at first base and neither of them had “numbers” but were better players than Tex. He went to the highest bidder in his career just like the rest of the mercenaries.

“One of the best baseball players of his generation”?? Are you on some kind of drugs?? Tonight against the Red Sox, top of the ninth-inning, two outs, bases-loaded, sox up 5-3…….. anybody want to guess? Yup, typical Tex, stands there with his thumb in his ass on a called strike three. A pitiful baseball player. (.195avg)

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