Twisted Sister gives Teixeira rockin' parting gift

Twisted Sister gives Teixeira rockin' parting gift

NEW YORK -- For most of his Yankees career, Mark Teixeira has been walking to home plate accompanied by Twisted Sister's 1984 hit, "I Wanna Rock." He finally has the right gear to do just that.

The retiring Teixeira received a surprise visit from the members of the heavy metal band, including lead singer Dee Snider, in an on-field ceremony before the Yankees' 8-1 loss to the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Teixeira was presented with an autographed electric guitar and a set of personalized picks.

"I had no idea. That was super cool," said Teixeira, who proudly showed off the guitar at his locker. "That's really, really neat. I told them, 'That's one of the neatest gifts I've ever gotten in my life.' Just the fact that they came was pretty special. That was nice."

An inscription on the guitar read, "Tex -- We know You Wanna Rock, and you rocked the baseball world!" The picks had Teixeira's name embossed in the band's iconic font.

The slugger said that he had never met any of the band's members before Friday, though they did reach out to him early in his Yankees tenure.

"I knew they had been following my career since '09, when I was kind of playing their song every at-bat," Teixeira said. "They sent me a cymbal signed, just kind of sent it to the stadium, so I knew they were following me. This is unexpected.

"I work out to their music sometimes in the offseason. I told them, 'Thank you for making that gesture.' They didn't have to do that, and it meant a lot."

Teixeira said that he has wanted to learn how to play the guitar for some time, and he is about to have the opportunity. He'll do his practicing on an acoustic guitar, though -- the autographed electric one is heading for a wall in Teixeira's home.

"I'm going to learn. That's one of the things on my list," Teixeira said. "I have a long list of things I want to do post-career, and learn how to play guitar is one of them."

Teixeira will be honored again in a ceremony before Sunday's season finale.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.