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“Hometown hero” Mark Teixeira speaks at Mercer baseball’s 10th annual First Base Classic

Former+New+York+Yankees+player%2C+Mark+Teixeira+speaks+at+the+Headline+2018+First+Pitch+Classic.
Former New York Yankees player, Mark Teixeira speaks at the Headline 2018 First Pitch Classic.

Former New York Yankees player, Mark Teixeira speaks at the Headline 2018 First Pitch Classic.

Elizabeth Carter

Elizabeth Carter

Former New York Yankees player, Mark Teixeira speaks at the Headline 2018 First Pitch Classic.

Kyle Mullins, Sports Editor

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Famed former baseball player, Mark Teixeira served as the guest speaker for Mercer baseball’s 10th annual First Base Classic event, an event that has seen speakers such as former Braves player and now Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, and Darryl Strawberry.

The event on Jan. 30 managed to draw out nearly 600 people, the largest crowd the event has seen. It started with an autograph signing session with Teixeira.

Local Macon resident John Kitchens has gone to the event for the past several years and says he has enjoyed it so far each time. He is friends with the Mercer baseball coaching staff and is a local pastor.

“It’s a great way to support them, but also I get a chance to meet some guys that I idolized as a kid,” Kitchens said.

He said being able to listen to a hometown hero—Teixeira played two seasons with the Atlanta Braves—was also a great showing up, and he just has a love for Mercer baseball.

The speaker, Teixeira, used the event to reminisce on his career and the lessons he learned not just from his professional career but from all the years of his life he spent playing baseball.

“For me, what I always tried to do was to play and live my life with no regrets,” Teixeira said.

Teixeira’s stats throughout his career reflect his mindset. Teixeira finished his career with 409 home runs, becoming the fifth switch hitter in MLB history to pass the 400 home run mark.

Teixeira touched on other subjects including his life post baseball, and handed down professional and life advice to the Mercer baseball players and baseball fans in attendance.

“This next season of my life is going to be very similar to my first one,” he said. “I’m going to start off at the bottom, I’m going to make a lot of mistakes, I’m going to learn from them, I’m going to meet a lot really cool people, and along the way I’m going to have some really cool stories, because 14 years from now hopefully I’ll have some great experiences and championships I’ll be able to talk about with the next generation of Mercer baseball players.”

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“Hometown hero” Mark Teixeira speaks at Mercer baseball’s 10th annual First Base Classic