Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira announced his retirement in an emotional press conference yesterday, meaning these will be the final two months of Teixeira in pinstripes, or on any major league diamond.
Teixeira played a major role on the Yankees most recent championship team in 2009. He consistently provided the Yankees with a solid glove at first base, and a power threat from both sides of the plate. Sadly, his career became ravaged by injury, and he felt it was time to say goodbye.
Knowing Teixeira's days with the Yankees are now limited, it is a good time to look back on some of his greatest moments in pinstripes during his eight seasons in the Bronx. Here some of the most memorable.
8.9.09: Becoming a Yankee
At Yankee Stadium against the Red Sox, Teixeira had what many consider his "earning his stripes" moment, when he launched a go-ahead solo blast down the right field line in the bottom of the eighth inning off Boston reliever Daniel Bard.
The homer came immediately after Johnny Damon tied the game with a solo blast to center. Teixeira, holding his bat in the air like the Statue of Liberty as he headed for first base, watched his dramatic home run land in the second deck in right, earning a curtain call from the fans, unofficially welcoming Teixeira as a Yankee. Teixeira would finish his inaugural season in pinstripes with 39 homers, 122 RBI, and a Gold Glove Award.
Below, you can enjoy all the broadcast calls of Teixeira and Damon's homers. They are all fantastic calls.
Speaking of Teixeira's Statue of Liberty pose, he executed it to perfection last season when he drilled a game-tying three-run homer to right, when the Yankees were down 3-0 to Tampa Bay.
8.3.2016: Mind games
Maybe this is only because it is fresh in my mind, but Wednesday's win against the Mets had Teixeira's fingerprints all over it, and it was a memorable and bizarre game to say the least.
After belting a tie-breaking home run in the second, Teixeira's next pitch he saw in the fifth hit him on the leg, which he did not care for at all. Benches emptied after Teixiera barked some words to Mets pitcher Steven Matz, who had surrendered the homer to Teixeira earlier in the game.
In the seventh, Teixeira reached base on a walk and really got going. After reaching second base, Mets reliever Hansel Robles needed multiple mound conversations with catcher Rene Rivera, and couldn't seem to get comfortable as the Yankees rallied.
Robles, convinced Teixeira was stealing signs from second base, continuously jawed at Teixeira before being taken out of the game. Teixeira seemed to be loving every second of it. When asked about it after the game, he gave this golden interview.
This wasn't the only imprint Teixeira put on a Subway Series. Back in 2009, when the game seemed all but over, Teixeira hustled from first base on an Alex Rodriguez popup that everyone thought would end the game. Teixeira, as you are taught since little league, continued around the bases with two outs as Luis Catillo dropped a sure game-ending out.
Teixeira's hustle allowed him to score from first with the winning run of one of the most improbable wins of the 2009 season.
10.6.2010: Conquering the Twins, again
This would not be Teixeira's most memorable playoff homer, but it was certainly important. With the score knotted at four in Game One of the 2010 ALDS in Minnesota, Teixeira sent a two run blast into the right field seats to give the Yankees a 6-4 lead, which would wind up being the final score.
The home run settled what was a wild back and forth affair, with the Twins jumping out to a 3-0 lead. The Yankees responded with a four run sixth, only to see the Twins tie it with a run in the bottom half of the sixth, before Teixeira dealt the knockout punch in the seventh.
Teixeira would bat over .300 for the series, with 3 RBI and that big home run that set the tone for the series, which would be another sweep of the Twins.
05.08.2010: A trio of Tex Messages
Teixeira began the 2010 season batting a dismal .136 in April, and came out his slump in a big way in Fenway Park against Boston. Three home runs and 5 RBI in six at-bats helped the Yanks crush the Red Sox 14-3.
It was the first time a Yankee went deep three times in one game in Fenway Park since Lou Gehrig in 1927. Teixeira also went deep from both sides of the plate in this game.
7.28.2012: Revenge served crushed
Teixeira got sweet revenge on longtime enemy Vicente Padilla in a wild affair with the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees would eventually lose the game 8-6, but the real fireworks were Teixeira's mammoth blast off of his bitter rival.
Padilla and Teixeira had been feuding since the two were teammates in Texas, where Teixeira didn't care for being the retaliation target after Padilla hit an opposing batter. Later, Padilla would accuse Teixeira of prejudice toward Latinos, which Teixeira denied, calling the comments "comedy."
So with the Yankees down 6-4 in the bottom of the 8th, Teixeira crushed a game-tying two-run homer off of his nemesis, and did his best impression of a Ken Griffey Jr walk as he admired his long ball.
10.9.2009: The walk-off
Most people look to this home run as Teixeira's signature Yankees moment, and for good reason. In Game Two of the 2009 ALDS, after a dramatic game tying homer by Alex Rodriguez, Teixeira stepped up in the 11th and smoked a deep line drive to left, which struck the top of the wall and ended up in the seats, sparking mayhem in the Bronx.
Teixeira's walk-off gave the Yankees a commanding 2-0 series lead against (who else) the Twins. They eventually swept the series and went on to win their 27th World Series.