July 31, 2007
ATLANTA – Mark Teixeira, a two-time All-American for the Yellow Jackets and the recipient of the Dick Howser Trophy in 2000, will return to the city of Atlanta after being traded to the Atlanta Braves early this week. The deal was finalized Tuesday afternoon.
“I texted him and said that I was looking forward to getting him back home,” Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall said. “He has always told me that the best thing that ever happened to him, other than marrying his wife (Leigh), was attending Georgia Tech and that he would live in Atlanta when he was done playing professional baseball.”
Teixeira becomes just the fourth former Yellow Jacket to play for the Braves, and the first since Darren Bragg did so from 2002-03. The Georgia Tech third baseman from 1999-2001, Teixeira played first base for the Texas Rangers since being called up in 2003.
He won the Silver Slugger Award as the American League’s top offensive first baseman in 2004 and 2005 and was the AL Golden Glove winner as the top defensive first baseman in 2005 and 2006. Named an AL All-Star in 2005, Teixeira set the Major League Baseball record for most RBI by a switch-hitter (144) in just his third season with Texas.
Teixeira was the fifth overall pick in the 2001 MLB Draft after earning National Player of the Year, Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, first-team All-America, first-team Academic All-America and first-team All-ACC honors in 2000. He was tabbed the National Rookie of the Year and ACC Rookie of the Year in 1999 while earning second-team All-America and first-team All-ACC accolades.
Despite playing just 16 games his junior season after suffering a broken ankle early in the year, Teixeira hit .419 with five home runs and 20 RBI in 62 at bats in 2001. The previous year, Teixeira became the first Tech player since 1994 to hit over .425 in a season before finishing his career ranked third in the Tech record books with a .409 career batting average. Only Tom Angley (.436 average from 1925-27) and Doug Wycoff (.424, 1924-26) have recorded higher career averages in Tech history.
Teixeira is expected to be in a Braves uniform as early as Wednesday night.