Miguel Tejada was born on May 25, 1976. He grew up in the city of Bani in the Dominican Republic under extreme poverty. Baseball was one of the few things that he could do to take his mind off of the dire conditions his family and those around him were living in. At the young age of seventeen years old, his time playing baseball paid off when he was signed into the Oakland Athletics
franchise for $2000.
Miguel Tejada spent little time in the minor leagues as the Oakland Athletics saw his great potential. On August 27, 1997, he made his Major League Baseball debut. During the 1997 season, he only batted .202 over 26 games. Despite the less than average performance, the Oakland Athletics continued to believe in the young player. In 1998, they awarded him their starting shortstop position when he was only twenty-one years old.
During his first full season, he batted .233 and hit 11 home runs. Every year after that, his totals began to improve and his talent began to shine. During the 2000 season, he batted .275 and hit 30 home runs helping the A’s win 90 games and the American League West Division. The following year, in 2001, Miguel Tejada had similar stats and the A’s once again made the playoffs. Unfortunately, the A’s were knocked out of the playoffs each year by the Yankees.
2002 became Miguel Tejada’s shining year when he batted .308 with 34 home runs. He was the leader of the team, leading them to another American League West Division title. As a result of his spectacular play and leadership, Miguel Tejada was awarded the 2002 American League MVP award. The 2003 season saw him have another successful year and saw the A’s make the playoffs once again. Unfortunately, the team never could get past the American League Division Series.
After the 2003 season, Miguel Tejada became a free agent when it was clear that the A’s could not afford to keep him. He was soon signed to a six year, $72 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles. In his first season with the Orioles, he led the league with 150 RBIs. He also won the Home Run Derby during the All-Star Break. In 2005, he earned his first ever All-Star Game start where he hit a home run and drove in another RBI. As a result, he was awarded the All-Star Game MVP award.