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Miguel Tejada

Biography

Miguel Tejada was born on May 25, 1976. He


grew up in the city of Bani in the Dominican
Republic under extreme poverty. Baseball was
one of the few things that he could do to take
his mind off of the dire conditions his family
and those around him were living in. At the
young age of seventeen years old, his time
playing baseball paid off when he was signed
into the Oakland Athletics franchise for $2000.
Miguel Tejada spent little time in the minor
leagues as the Oakland Athletics saw his great potential. On August 27,
1997, he made his Major League Baseball debut. During the 1997 season, he
only batted .202 over 26 games. Despite the less than average performance,
the Oakland Athletics continued to believe in the young player. In 1998, they
awarded him their starting shortstop position when he was only twenty-one
years old.
During his first full season, he batted .233 and hit 11 home runs. Every year
after that, his totals began to improve and his talent began to shine. During
the 2000 season, he batted .275 and hit 30 home runs helping the A’s win 90
games and the American League West Division. The following year, in 2001,
Miguel Tejada had similar stats and the A’s once again made the playoffs.
Unfortunately, the A’s were knocked out of the playoffs each year by the
Yankees.
2002 became Miguel Tejada’s shining year when he batted .308 with 34
home runs. He was the leader of the team, leading them to another
American League West Division title. As a result of his spectacular play and
leadership, Miguel Tejada was awarded the 2002 American League MVP
award. The 2003 season saw him have another successful year and saw the
A’s make the playoffs once again. Unfortunately, the team never could get
past the American League Division Series.
After the 2003 season, Miguel Tejada became a free agent when it was clear
that the A’s could not afford to keep him. He was soon signed to a six year,
$72 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles. In his first season with the
Orioles, he led the league with 150 RBIs. He also won the Home Run Derby
during the All-Star Break. In 2005, he earned his first ever All-Star Game
start where he hit a home run and drove in another RBI. As a result, he was
awarded the All-Star Game MVP award.

Fun Facts about Miguel Tejada

* Miguel is the sixth shortstop to win the AL MVP. The first was Lou Boudreau
in 1948. Miguel is just the third Dominican to capture an MVP. The first was
George Bell, the second was Sammy Sosa.
* Miguel’s childhood idol was Alfredo Griffin, now the first base coach for
Anaheim.
* Miguel knocked in the go-ahead run for the A’s 32 times in 2002.
* After signing a new four-year $11 million deal in 2000, Miguel bought his
father a new house.
* Miguel made the 2002 All-Star squad as the AL’s fifth and final shortstop.
Despite having Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra and Omar
Vizquel,Joe Torre could not leave Miguel off the team.
* Miguel’s wife is named Alesandra. The couple has a daughter, Alexa, and
a son, Miguelito, born in February of 2002.
* Dominican President Hipolito Mejia held a special reception in Miguel’s
honor after he won the MVP. On the way from Bani, fans lined the streets.
Miguel stopped his car several times to shake hands with the crowd. He was
90 minutes late for his own party.
* Miguel says the Babalu Grill and The Cheesecake Factory make the best
crab cakes in Baltimore. He also loves the crab soup at Camden Yards. His
wife often asks him to bring a portion home for her.
* Miguel built a baseball stadium in his hometown in the Dominican
Republic. Known as Miguel Tejada Stadium, it features a six-foot painting of
him on the centerfield wall. The stadium, which seats 3,000, was christened
in December of 2004 with a game hosted by his Winter Ball team, Aguilas.

Quotes by Miguel Tejada

“For me, I think God is the one that decides if I have to take a day off, ...
Right now, I feel fine and I'm going to keep playing every day.”

“I just want to be in the lineup every day. I can forget what happened the
day before. I love being at the ballpark and love playing the game. It's not
about a streak. It's just about me wanting to play.”

“The key to playing the whole major league season and then playing winter
baseball is working out hard and not being careless for a second.”