Mark Teixeira and Jason Varitek shared birthdays, All-Star teams and Georgia Tech honors
Mark Teixeira and Jason Varitek were familiar faces to baseball fans throughout the 2000s. They were All-Stars, postseason regulars and opponents in the Yankees-Red Sox rivarly from 2009-11. They even both shared a birthday -- April 11. On Wednesday, Varitek turns 46; Teixeira will be 38.
But the pair's connection runs even deeper than the Major Leagues. Long before they were doing this ...
... and this ...
... they were collegiate stars for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
Varitek was a menace behind the plate at Georgia Tech: In four seasons from 1991-1994, he hit .384/.488/.667 with 57 homers in 253 games, earning the Dick Howser Trophy as a senior. (He was also a 1992 U.S. Olympic athlete alongside Yellow Jacket teammate and future Red Sox pal Nomar Garciaparra.)
Five years after "Tek" departed "Tech," the Yellow Jackets added a Maryland kid known as "Tex." Teixeira was a nightmare for ACC pitching, batting .409/.520/.712 with 36 homers in 140 games from 1999-2001. Like Varitek, Teixeira also earned national recognition by winning the Dick Howser Trophy in 2000, making the two the only George Tech players to ever receive that honor.
It shouldn't be surprising that both players became first-round picks in the MLB Draft and eventually found their way to the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame -- Varitek in 2004; Teixeira in 2011.
Varitek does have one more honor than Teixeira, though: His No. 33 (a familiar one to Red Sox fans) remains the only number retired for a player in the history of Georgia Tech baseball: