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Mark Teixeira, Yankees slugger-turned-college student, sends message to owners, players

Marc Teixeira lives these days as a 41-year-old baseball Hall of Fame nominee who’s back in college for classes at Georgia Tech with students half his age, and then heads to campus bars for some drinks.

Really …

“Almost every day after class, I’ll bring coffee with the students or have a beer with the 21-year-olds,” the retired Yankees star’s number one baseman said Tuesday during an MLB radio interview. “We hang out and they say, ‘Hi Mark, I’m interested in real estate, I’m interested in sports…what’s your advice?'” Do you have any connections? I consider it a mentoring opportunity for me, which is pretty cool.”

Teixeira was a year shy of graduating when he was first recruited by the Texas Rangers publicly in 2001. Two decades later, he’s a college student who lives in Austin, Texas and flies to Atlanta every three weeks for a few in-person lessons.

The reason for his return to school is interesting. He wants to send a message to his three children — ages 15, 14 and 11 — about the importance of work habits even for retired baseball stars who have all the money in the world.

“Someone told me a long time ago that your kids always need to see you work and I took that very seriously,” Teixeira said. “Back at school, (my kids) see me knocking on exams and they see me writing papers. They know I don’t have to. I never plan to use my degree and walk into an office to ask for a job, but it’s something they see me working on. They see it as important to me, and as long as that My kids are at home, I’m going to work and I’m going to keep busy.”

After retiring from baseball with 409 fellow professional players after the 2016 season—his 14th place as a senior player and eighth for Yankee–Teixeira worked as an ESPN baseball analyst for four years while exploring investment opportunities before returning to school.

During his downtime, Teixeira is following baseball’s latest labor war, which involved owners shutting down players after the anti-terror law expired on December 1. But …

“Stay in your corner, fight for what you think you should get,” Teixeira said. “I love him. But no one wants to see the games lost. I’m crossing my fingers because we’ve reached a point where mid-February – (lockdown) might bleed into spring practice – there’s a deal so we can watch baseball next year.”

Teixeira, who is on the Hall of Fame poll for the first time this year and has one vote among 90 ballots counted through Wednesday, invites players and owners to resolve their differences and then improve the game.

“I think one thing baseball should understand is that the product itself needs help,” he said. “We’ve been talking for years about game length, pace, lots of hits, lots of home runs. I think baseball really needs to make some changes, and these aren’t drastic changes. The pitch clock for me isn’t a drastic change. Shift bans aren’t drastic. Tighten the game and make it a little more exciting…a little more action.

“And then, at a certain point, players and owners need to look at this as a partnership because when you’re in business, you have to have some kind of relationship, a kind of partnership, between ownership and business working. Right now, it seems like no one wants to. to be a partner here. Whatever that sounds like, I don’t know. I’m glad that’s not my job, but it seems to me that the NBA and some other league have said—good or bad or indifferent—”What’s good for me is good for you.” Let’s try to earn as much money as possible.

“I hope baseball players and owners can get together and just say, ‘Hey, we’re partners here.'” Let’s both make money. Let’s make more money than we earn now and discover it together.”

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Randy Miller can be found at rmiller@njadvancemedia.com.

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