Continuing our countdown of the 10 greatest Ranger All Star Game performances, today we look at former Ranger first baseman Mark Teixeira, who represented the Rangers at the 2005 All Star Game.
The 2005 Major League Baseball All Star Game was played on July 12, 2005, at Comerica Park. The Ranger contingent included pitcher Kenny Rogers and reserves Alfonso Soriano and Michael Young, along with Mark Teixeira, voted in by the fans as the starting first baseman for the American League.
Teixeira, in his third season in the majors, was making his first appearance of what was expected to be many in the All Star Game. He was in the midst of a huge season, a year in which he'd end up hitting .301/.379/.575 with 43 homers and 144 RBIs. He was one of the rising young stars in baseball, and seemed to be staking a claim to being the A.L.'s premier first baseman for years to come.
Teixeira got off to a slow start in the game. Hitting seventh, he got his first at bat in the 2nd inning, and quickly fell behind Atlanta's John Smoltz 0-2 before grounding to Derrek Lee for the second out of the inning. Teixeira's next plate appearance was leading off the fourth inning, facing Livan Hernandez, with Livan coaxing an infield fly from Teixeira.
It was Teixeira's final at bat that earned him a spot on this countdown. In the bottom of the sixth, with the A.L. up, 5-0, Vladimir Guerrero singled off of Florida's Dontrelle Willis. Teixeira's teammate Alfonso Soriano came in to pinch run for Guerrero, and with Soriano on first base, Teixeira worked the count full before blasting a homer to deep right-center field, giving the A.L. a 7-0 lead.
Teixeira was lifted for Paul Konerko in the top of the seventh, and the American League went on to win, 7-5, with Teixeira's homer ending up being the difference in the game. Remarkably, it would be four years before Teixeira would appear in an All Star Game again, starting for the A.L. in the 2009 classic.
2005 was a high water mark for Teixeira in some ways. Teixeira led the league in total bases, was 4th in home runs, and 2nd in RBIs, but his 2005 numbers in those categories still stand as his career highs. 2005 didn't usher in a string of All Star appearances...instead, at age 31, playing for the most prominent team in the game, Teixeira is waiting on his third All Star berth. He was seen as a burgeoning superstar, but instead, seems similar to his predecessor at first base for Texas, Rafael Palmeiro...a very, very good player who hasn't seemed to be able to elevate his game to greatness.