Baltimore-area native Teixeira confident city will rebound

Yankees first baseman closely following news about riots, protests

Baltimore-area native Teixeira confident city will rebound

NEW YORK -- In the clubhouse before Monday night's game against the Rays, Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was closely monitoring the news of the ongoing riots and protests in downtown Baltimore.

Teixeira grew up in Severna Park, Md., about 30 minutes south of Baltimore, and played baseball at Mount Saint Joseph High School in Baltimore. His uncle is a Catholic priest with a church located downtown that is currently being protected by the National Guard.

During Monday night's 4-1 victory over the Rays, Teixeira said he was able to focus his attention on the field, but after the game, he called his father and confirmed that everyone was doing OK.

Baltimore is in a citywide state of emergency as the result of riots that began over the weekend and have since turned violent over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died from injuries suffered while in police custody. Tensions between the city and police department have been increasing for some time before reaching this breaking point.

"I've seen the tough parts of Baltimore," Teixeira said. "You never expect stuff like this, but you can see how it could happen."

Due to safety concerns, both Monday and Tuesday night's games between the Orioles and White Sox were postponed and Wednesday's game will be closed to the public for what is certain to be a surreal atmosphere.

"I've played in games where there's been a couple of thousand; two, three thousand fans," Teixeira said. "It's a little weird, but literally nobody in the stands. I've never had that. That's got to be difficult, but like I said, once the game starts, I don't think it will be a big deal."

Teixeira said he was confident the city of Baltimore will be able to rebound.

"Any time there's a crisis, people step up," Teixeira said. "Good people always trump bad. Whether it was 9/11 here in New York, you saw that the good people stepped up and eventually things got back to normal."

Jamal Collier is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.