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Miguel Tejada: 1976—: Baseball Player Biography - Grew Up In Poverty, Signed To The Oakland A's, Won League's Highest Honor

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Miguel Tejada: 1976—: Baseball player.

Baseball sensation Miguel Tejada, named the American League's Most Valuable Player in 2002, traveled an obstacle filled road to athletic stardom. The youngest of eight children, Tejada grew up in the slums of Bani in the Dominican Republic, where opportunities to succeed were few. His prospects became even more bleak when at the age of thirteen his mother died and his father was forced to leave Tejada with an older brother to watch over him during the work day. Tejada, who had left school by the time of his mother's death to work, found refuge in playing baseball, far and away the most popular sport in his country. When he was fourteen Tejada began training with coach Enrique Soto, a former minor-league player who returned to the Dominican Republic as a scout for the Oakland Athletics (A's). Through sheer perseverance and hard work, Tejada earned a contract with the A's in 1993 and began training for a career in the United States. After three seasons in the minors, Tejada made his debut with the A's in August of 1997. Although an injury to his hand took him off the roster, Tejada returned to the lineup and was named the team's starting short stop in May of 1998. His skills as an infielder and batter quickly put him into the front ranks of short stops in major league baseball; indeed, the A's considered him so valuable that the team signed Tejada to a four-year contract worth $11.3 million in April of 2000.

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