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  • Writer's pictureDon Wilding

Teixeira passed through Outer Cape

Allow me, for a moment, to step away from the Outer Beach and on to the baseball diamond.

Earlier today, Mark Teixeira of the New York Yankees announced that he'll be retiring at the end of the 2016 Major League Baseball season.

The news took me back several years, to July 1999, to my sportswriting days, when I covered the Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star festivities for the now-defunct online Cape Cod Journal. The Cape League is the annual showcase for the elite college players in the country, and only wood bats are used. The season runs from the second week of June until mid-August, when the playoffs conclude.

The Cape League's All-Star festivities stretched out over two nights. One of those nights took the Cape League All-Stars up to Fenway Park in Boston, where they were honored before the Red Sox game. Teixeira, a switch-hitting first baseman out of Georgia Tech, was one of the All-Star representatives from the Orleans Cardinals (now known as the Firebirds). He was joined by the likes of fellow future Major Leaguers such as David DeJesus, Chase Utley, and Garrett Atkins.

That weekend, the CCBL All-Star game was played at Spillane Field in Wareham. Teixiera clubbed a two-run homer in the first inning as his Eastern Division team took a 4-0 lead, but the West rallied for a 6-4 win. Teixiera won the East MVP award for his efforts, while Atkins was the overall MVP.

And, yes, you read that box score above right. Tex played both first AND third base in those days.

Teixiera has gone on to hit over 400 home runs in his Major League career, and won a World Series crown with the Yankees in 2009. He also played for Texas, Atlanta, and Los Angeles (Anaheim), but made quite an impact on the Cape as well.

Now, back to the Outer Beach ...

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