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Teixeira fond of his time in Atlanta

Teixeira fond of his time in Atlanta

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ATLANTA -- In the midst of a journey that has introduced him to four different Major League organizations over the course of the past two years, Mark Teixeira believes he has encountered his intended destination.

Still, while savoring the $180 million contract that allowed him to become a member of the Yankees' family, Teixeira said that he'll never forget the many great memories that he experienced in Atlanta.

"Atlanta is home," Teixeira said before the Yankees and Braves began a three-game series at Turner Field on Tuesday night. "I always loved playing in this ballpark, and my wife and I always loved the time that we had here."

While being dealt before both of the past two Trade Deadlines, Teixeira's Major League days in Atlanta essentially consisted of one calendar year. But long before he had the opportunity to play for Braves manager Bobby Cox, he had established himself as a collegiate superstar at Georgia Tech.

"I loved playing for Bobby, and I loved the guys that I played with here," Teixeira said. "I only got to be here for one year. But it was a great year."

When the Braves acquired Teixeira from the Rangers before the 2007 Trade Deadline, they had visions of him leading them into the playoffs for two consecutive years.

But despite the fact that Teixeira hit .295 with 37 homers and a .943 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) in 157 games with them, the Braves found themselves destined to miss the postseason for a third straight season.

Thus, before last year's Trade Deadline, the Braves dealt him to the Angels in exchange for Casey Kotchman and Minor League pitcher Stephen Marek.

After gaining his first career postseason experience with the Angels, Teixeira entered the free-agent market and landed his current 10-year, $180 million contract with the Yankees.

"This is truly the best decision that I've ever made," Teixeira said.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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