Teixeira's talents extend to stickball
Slugger belts two homers during promotional event in Tampa
TAMPA, Fla. -- The verdict is in: You'd probably take Mark Teixeira on your stickball team, too.
The slugging first baseman took part in a promotional event on the streets of Ybor City on Friday, belting two "home runs" in four swings while playing against old-school players from the Florida Stickball League.
"It was so much fun," Teixeira said. "It's kind of a New York pastime."
Teixeira took his cuts on Ninth Avenue, between 13th Street and Avenue Republica de Cuba. The event promoted Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball, for which Teixeira has been selected as the 2009 cover athlete.
Batting on a historic, tree-lined, cobblestone street, Teixeira said he hit two of his four swings "real deep," also cracking one line drive and fouling one off. He also played first base for a team of New York transplants and diehard Yankees fans of various ages.
Teixeira said he had never played stickball before, instead growing up on backyard games of Wiffle ball in Annapolis, Md. He said that making contact with the bouncy, hard rubber ball was more of a challenge than anticipated.
"The ball is so small -- it's a little bit bigger than a golf ball, and then you're using basically a broom handle," he said. "You've got to keep your eye on the ball."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.