Mark started switch-hitting in backyard Wiffle Ball games as a kid. He got serious about it during the summer before going to high school.
Mark lettered in
basketball and soccer at Mount St. Joseph, but his favorite sport outside
of baseball was golf.
A big reason why
Mark chose Georgia Tech was the job coach Danny Hall had done with Jason
Varitek, a fellow switch-hitter, in preparing him for pro ball.
Mark was named
ACC Rookie of the Year in 1999. He was just the third player to win
that honor and go on to win ACC Player of the Year honors.
Mark won the Dick
Howser Trophy, the NCAA’s MVP award, as a sophomore.
Mark finished his
college career with 36 homers, 165 RBIs and a .409 average.
The only Georgia
Tech player to be drafted higher than Mark was Ty Griffin, who was taken
fourth by the Chicago Cubs in 1988.
The players selected
before Mark in the 2001 draft were Joe Mauer, Mark Prior, Dewon Brazelton
and Gavin Floyd.
Mark began his
major league career hitless in 16 at-bats. His first hit was a double
off Mark Mulder of the Oakland A's.
homers in 2003 were the third most in history for a rookie switch-hitter.
When Mark hit for
the cycle in 2004, he joined Mickey Mantle and Wes Parker as the only
players to get half their hits from each side of the plate.
consecutive games with a homer in 2004 is the second-longest long ball
streak by a switch-hitter.
homers and 112 RBIs in 2004 broke the Texas records of 37 HRs and 105 RBIs
by a first baseman, set by Rafael Palmeiro in 1993.
Mark won a Silver
Slugger award in 2004 as the AL’s top-hitting first baseman.
On September 6,
2005, Mark became just the fifth player in major league history to hit
100 home runs in his first three seasons.
Mark led the AL with 370 total bases in 2005.
Mark set a Texas franchise record with 507 consecutive games played. A trip to the DL in June of 2007 snapped his streak.
Mark homered in his first three games as a Brave. The last player to do that was Gary Sheffield.
In June of 2008, Mark socked three home runs for the Braves in a game against the Seattle Mariners.
Mark switched from #23 to #25 after joining the Yankees. #23 had been retired in honor of Don Mattingly.
In 2001, Mark and Carlos Pena shared the same Upper Deck rookie card as Texas Rangers prospects. In 2009, they finished tied atop the AL home run charts.
Orioles fans, angry that Mark didn’t sign with his hometown team, showered Monopoly money from the stands during the Yankees' first visit to Camden Yards in 2009.
Mark is one of
a handful of Marylanders to star in the majors. The most famous are
Al Kaline, Cal Ripken, Babe Ruth, Lefty Grove, Home Run Baker, Leon
Day, Brian Jordan, Jimmie Foxx. Mark and Gavin Floyd were the first
Baltimore-area players ever taken in the first round of the draft.
Mark finished his
final semester in college by making Dean’s List and being named
an Academic All-American.
Thanks to an Information
Technology class he took at Georgia Tech, Mark knows how to design web
Mark was a Management
major at Georgia Tech.
While Mark was
in college, his father took a two-year course to become a certified
financial manager so he could handle his finances.
box song is "All Along the Watch Tower" by Jimi Hendrix.
Mark says he chose New York because it’s a short train ride from Baltimore, and because his sister and her family live across the river in Hoboken.
Mark and his wife, Leigh, have two kids, Jack and Addison.