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Teixeira recalls fallout from Maier game in 1996

Teixeira recalls fallout from Maier game in 1996

Teixeira recalls fallout from Maier game in 1996
BALTIMORE -- Mark Teixeira remembers watching young Jeffrey Maier pluck a Derek Jeter fly ball out of the sky on his television screen, changing the course of the last postseason series the Yankees and Orioles played against each other.

Teixeira was a 16-year-old sophomore at Mount St. Joseph's High School in Baltimore on the evening of Oct. 9, 1996, watching at home as he saw his Orioles suffer a 5-4, 11-inning defeat with some help from Maier, a 12-year-old who reached over the right-field wall at Yankee Stadium.

"I went to a Catholic high school and I had an announcement the next day that we had to pray for Jeffrey Maier and the umpire [Richie Garcia]," Teixeira said.

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"Plenty of people were saying bad things about them, and our principal wanted to make sure that that talk wasn't heard in the halls. Four-letter words were not acceptable. It was kind of a lesson in forgiveness. That you have to move on."

Asked if all of the students abided by that lesson, Teixeira grinned and said, "Some of us."

Raised in Severna Park, Md., Teixeira grew up cheering for Cal Ripken Jr. and the O's while taking the Yankees' Don Mattingly as his first-base idol.

Obviously, his allegiances now are completely to the Yankees -- something Baltimore fans still burn about -- but the 16-year-old in him still remembers the pain of watching New York take control of the American League in '96.

"We had a team we thought was going to win it all that year, and one tough call changed the momentum of that series," Teixeira said. "Things kind of weren't the same after that."

As for Jeter, he said that "it's really been a long time" since someone in Baltimore has brought up the Maier game to him; not that he completely believes the city has forgotten about the incident.

"We would have beat 'em anyway," Jeter shrugged.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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