A defensive stalwart and force from either side of the plate, Maryland native Mark Teixeira has developed into one of the league's most skilled first basemen. Given his first baseball glove at the age of one, it took him just a few years to set his sights on a career in the sport. Teixeira now has four Gold Gloves, three Silver Slugger Awards and a World Series championship ring in his nine seasons in the major leagues. He decided to work on his switch-hitting skills at the age of 13, a move that has paid dividends. Teixeira holds the all-time major league record for most games with a home run from both sides of the plate and is the third switch-hitter in league history to hit at least 20 home runs in each of his first three seasons. Hitting 39 home runs in the 2011 season, he matched the total he blasted in 2009 to lead the American League in both HRs and RBIs (with 122). Teixeira's personal impact has not been felt solely on the field, though; this two-time All-Star also has made major contributions to the communities in which he has played. In 2006 while with the Texas Rangers, in addition to aiding the Arlington Boys & Girls Club and Police Department, he established the Mark Teixeira Charitable Fund to support scholarships at high schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Now in New York City, he serves on the Board of Directors at Harlem RBI, an organization that provides inner-city youth with opportunities to play baseball and stresses the importance of teamwork, respect, effort and integrity. Associated with that program, Teixeira's Dream Team 25 is focused on raising funds to build a new home for Harlem RBI participants and the DREAM charter school. After a standout career at Georgia Tech, during which he was a consensus first-team All-American and won the Dick Howser Trophy as the national collegiate baseball player of the year, Teixeira was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 2001 with the fifth overall pick.