I have been mentally preparing myself for this day since August but sometimes no amount of preparation is enough. I have a feeling that I will look back at this post later and think about a bunch of things that I should’ve said but didn’t. This isn’t a research paper. This isn’t a news story, it’s a story backed by memories and emotions.
Mark Teixeira has been my guy since 2009. That is a fact. No one else on this blog will tell you they were his cheerleader. While some pointed out his flaws and vented I defended him over the years. I know some of us are ready for the next chapter post Teixeira. I accept the change but I am still not ready to say goodbye.
Some people may always remember Tex for game 2 of the 2009 American League Division Series. They may say that was the highlight of his career. Or, some may say that his grand slam on Wednesday was his finest moment. It was his first walk-off home run in the regular season and it was his swan song. To that I say none of those answers are wrong.
Or some, who may not remember all of the happier moments may say they remember him for all of the wrist injury issues or the laundry list of the other injuries that put him on the disabled list. Even I admit that this season was particularly frustrating at times but looking back at that it really doesn’t matter anymore. Anyone who only remembers Tex for his injuries I would have to say that answer is wrong.
The offensive Texecuitioner has been gone for awhile now, but the man has always had a glove that was undeniable. His defense could not be replaced by anyone on the Yankees for all the years he played. When he was out, the Yankees never really looked the same and he was a big part of why the Yankee infield was so dominant in 2009.
I will always remember Tex for his dedication to Harlem RBI. I loved how connected he was to the community. He loved New York as much as we loved him and he really enjoyed paying it forward. I will never forget how he called himself a “New Yorker” even though he lives in Connecticut. It made me laugh hysterically.
I will also remember his enthusiasm for Juice Press and his gluten free lifestyle change. To this day I still believe that his gluten free lifestyle change brought back the amazing Tex we saw in 2015. It also made me look into my own nutrition and start to try some new things. That alone shows star power both on and off of the field.
I don’t think people took the time to look beyond the often serious Tex. He proved to all of us that he did have a personality with his Foul Territory bits even though some did not share in the same appreciation as I did (here’s looking at you O’Hara) but his interview with Derek Jeter will always be a fond memory for me.
I liked the other side of Tex. No one is serious all of the time.
The biggest take away for me though is that Tex was a guy that always acted with integrity and you could trust him. He was a professional both on and off of the field. He always acted with the highest integrity and he was a role model. You never heard about any scandals with him. He just came to the park everyday and worked. That was one of the reasons I admire him.
So as I sit here and realize that our season is over I have become very nostalgic. There are no more posts coming that defend Teixeira, I no longer need to be his lawyer. This is the end. Next season I will have to accept that there is another person playing first base. It won’t be easy to get past but I will….eventually. Thank you for all of the memories. Thank you for all of the heated debates that you unknowingly starred in. I would do it all again. I have no idea what is next for you but I wish you well. So I won’t say goodbye because I can’t. Instead I will say “I’ll be seeing you” and look forward to hearing about what comes next for you.
You will be missed Tex.
–Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer & Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ