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Kids Q&A: Yankees Slugger Mark Teixeira

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The New York Yankees first baseman has finally gotten used to the Big Apple, so now he’s giving back to his new home town. 

Mark Teixeira is working with the Harlem RBI program to help kids in Harlem join baseball and softball teams and get quality education.

“They do such a good job giving kids access to a higher education,” he says, “I feel strongly that education is important.” It also doesn’t hurt that Harlem RBI uses baseball as a tool to get the kids to understand the importance of hard work. 

Tex also took some time to answer some of the hundreds of questions sent in by readers. Click on to see his answers and see if your question made the cut...

Aaron, Kansas (age 12): Are the Yankees better or worse than last season?
Tex: We always think we’re better. We have more experience, so I think we’re better this year.

Ricky, California (age 13): How is it playing with guys like A-Rod and Derek Jeter?
Tex: It’s an honor. Those are two of the greatest players of all time and to win a championship with them was very special.

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Irene, Maryland (age 10): Do you have a best friend on the Yankees?
Tex: I have a lot of good friends. I don’t want to single out one person. I have a lot of friends on the team and we all enjoy each other.

Jacob, New Jersey (age 13): How does your focus change if you’re going through a slump?
During your at-bats you don’t really think about being in a slump. Every at-bat is new and a new opportunity to get a hit or help your team win.

Max, Connecticut (age 9): How did it feel to be traded twice?
It was exciting because both times I got traded I got traded to a better team. From one that wasn’t in the playoffs to one that was in the race. So that made it exciting.

Daltin, Alabama (age 15): Mark, how have you changed since signing with the Yankees?
I don’t think I’ve changed that much but the thing that has changed the most is that now I can put World Champion on my resume and that’s what we all play for.

Stephen, Pennsylvania (age 10): What positions did you play in Little League?
 I played shortstop mostly, and I also pitched a little bit.

Noah, Hawaii (age 11): How hard was it to become a switch hitter?
Very hard. It took a lot of hard work and a lot of patience.

Spencer, Ohio (age 12): What was the biggest reason you signed with the Yankees?
 The chance to win a World Series every year and the chance to play for the greatest sports franchise in the world.

Tori, Idaho (age 7): Who is your favorite athlete?
Tex: That’s tough. My favorite baseball player growing up was Don Mattingly, so he’s Number 1 on the list.

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Steph, Maryland (age 13): What would you be doing if you were not playing baseball?
I think I’d be running a business. I’d love to own a business and hopefully do some great things in the community as well.

Connor, California (age 9): I have a habit of stopping my swing halfway through. Do you have any suggestions to correct that?
Make sure that you’re using your legs and opening your hips. If you do that you’ll follow through.

Tom, Ontario (age 12): Did you ever think you weren’t good enough to play in the major leagues?
 Always. Baseball is a very hard sport and there is always doubt that creeps into your mind. But I tried to have a positive attitude and work hard.

Justin, New York (age 12): Do you feel nervous when you’re facing really good pitchers?
 There’s always some nerves but at the same time I’ve been doing it long enough that those thoughts don’t creep into my mind to much.

AJ, Saskatchewan (age 12): What were you thinking as the ball was heading towards you for the last out of the World Series?
 Don’t drop it! That was maybe the most nervous I’ve ever been catching a ball at first base.

Peter, New York (age 10): How fun is it to hit a home run?
 There’s nothing better in sports. It doesn’t happen that often, so you have to enjoy it when it does.

Peter, Pennsylvania (age 9): What do you enjoy more, making a great defensive play or getting a great hit?
I have to say getting a great hit. As much as I love playing the field, hitting is still the most fun part of baseball.

Michael, Illinois (age 12): How do you prepare for the season during the off-season?
Work out a lot, take a lot of swings in the batting cage and get rest, because you don’t get a lot during the season.

Alyssa, New Jersey (age 9): How do you stay focused during long games?
You have to find a way to focus. I always try to say the count. If it’s two balls, one strike and two outs I say it in my head and that keeps me focused on every at bat. Every pitch that’s my key to keeping focused.

Lauren, New Jersey (age 11): Which teammate had the biggest impact on you when you started playing for the Yankees?
Tex: Nick Swisher. He kept me loose.

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Spencer, California (age 12): Who is the biggest clown on the team?
 That goes back to Swisher. Everything he does is to get a reaction and to make people laugh.