We all go through awkward stages in our early teens but Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira experienced a very special kind of awkward when his childhood hero died. Teixeira loved Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain so very much that after Cobain jammed a shotgun barrel in his mouth, the young high school student decided to drop the "Mark" and change his name to "Kurt".
This all came to light in an interview with MLB Network's Harold Reynolds that aired last night. During a sitdown at the Secaucus studios, Reynolds lobbed softballs at Teixeira interspersed with video snippets of interviews with Mark's parents. Here's a transcript of the juicy part:
HR: What is this stuff about Kurt Teixeira?
MT: You know what? When I was a kid I was a big Nirvana fan. And, uh, Kurt Cobain unfortunately passed away when I think I was in eighth grade. And when you're twelve or thirteen years old and your favorite band isn't gonna make any more music, you take it pretty tough. So, uh, I went by an alias for a little while.
HR: Yeah your mom said...
Mark's mom (on video): Mark tried to change his name to Kurt when he was, uh, because he loved Kurt Cobain when he filled our forms he would put, he would sign "Kurt Teixeira", so we had Kurt Teixeira things coming to the house for a while. I'd go, "what is this?" and it was because he had this thing for Kurt Cobain.
HR: You had the mail coming to your house?
MT: I would fill out...anytime I'd fill anything out whether it was for comic books or CD clubs or anything I would write Kurt Teixeira just because I didn't know what I was doing. I was twelve years old and I was having fun with it.
No way, Mark, that's not a kid having fun. When I was twelve years old I used to sign up for mailing lists using the alias Arnold Ziffel because I ironically loved "Green Acres", now that was a kid having fun. What Mark went through was a bit closer to an emotionally-confused kid who just experienced his first taste of hero worship-gone-wrong and thinks his parents just don't understand, maaannn.