Nick Markakis

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Nick Markakis
Nick Markakis on July 29, 2015.jpg
Markakis with the Atlanta Braves in 2015
Atlanta Braves – No. 22
Right fielder
Born: (1983-11-17) November 17, 1983 (age 36)
Glen Cove, New York
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
April 3, 2006, for the Baltimore Orioles
MLB statistics
(through 2015 season)
Batting average .291
Hits 1,728
Home runs 144
Career highlights and awards

Nicholas William "Nick" Markakis (/mɑːrˈkkɪs/ mar-KAY-kis);[1] (born November 17, 1983) is an American professional baseball right fielder for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Baltimore Orioles from 2006 to 2014. Markakis is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner.

Early life

Markakis was born in Glen Cove, New York, but moved to Woodstock, Georgia when his family, which includes his parents, Dennis and Mary Lou and his brothers Dennis, Greg and Michael relocated. He is of Greek and German descent.[2]

College/Olympic career

Markakis was originally drafted in 2001 by the Cincinnati Reds, from Woodstock High School in Woodstock, Georgia but did not sign. Markakis instead attended Young Harris College, where he played college baseball for the Young Harris Mountain Lions baseball team. The Reds drafted him again in 2002, but he returned to Young Harris. Markakis played as both an outfielder and a pitcher, hitting .439 with 21 home runs and 92 RBIs, while also gathering a 12–0 win–loss record as a pitcher with 1 save and a 1.68 earned run average in 15 games. He was twice named Georgia Junior College Player of the Year and was awarded Baseball America's 2002 National JUCO Player of the Year.[3]

In August 2003, he played in the European National Championships, winning a silver medal with Team Greece. He also played for the Greek Olympic baseball team in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Professional career

Baltimore Orioles

Minor leagues

Markakis was the Orioles' first-round draft pick, seventh overall in the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft. Owning a fastball that was clocked as high as 96 miles per hour, Markakis was widely viewed as a pitching prospect but the Orioles preferred his potential as a hitter.

Markakis spent his first year with the Aberdeen IronBirds and then the Delmarva Shorebirds in 2004, where he hit .299, 11 homers and led the team with 64 RBI despite missing the last month of the season playing for Greece in the Olympics.

In 2005, Markakis started the year with the Frederick Keys and was named the top Orioles prospect by Baseball America. He won the Carolina/California League All-Star Game Home Run Derby, and followed that up by being named MVP of the All-Star game after hitting two homers. He was promoted a short time later to the Bowie Baysox and was ultimately named to the Second Team in the 2005 Minor League All-Star Roster.[1] He also received the Brooks Robinson Award as the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year.

2006 offseason

Markakis began his first spring training with the Orioles in 2006, and immediately established himself by reaching base 9 out of his first 10 plate appearances. He eventually earned an Opening Day roster spot.

2006 season

Markakis made his major league debut on April 3, 2006, when he was used as a late-inning defensive replacement against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He received his first start and plate appearances two days later. Hitting second and playing left field, he drew three walks in his first three plate appearances and hit a 400-foot home run for his first major league hit in the 16–6 win.

On August 22, 2006, Markakis went 3 for 4 with 3 home runs in an Orioles 6–3 win at Camden Yards. Not only was it his first three-home run game, became the 18th Oriole to do so and the first since 1999. The feat prompted a curtain call from the dugout, earning him a feat that The Washington Post called "an ovation that is rarely seen in these parts anymore. Curtain calls are for Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park, not Camden Yards."

Markakis during his tenure with the Baltimore Orioles in 2007 spring training

Markakis finished his rookie season with a .291 average, 16 homers, 62 RBI and 2 stolen bases. On defense, he put up impressive stats in defensive ratings such as range factor and fielding percentage, ranking second among major league right fielders.

2007 season

Markakis started the season as the starting right fielder.

He finished the season with a .300 average, 23 home runs, 112 RBI and 18 stolen bases.

He was 3rd in the AL in games played (161), 7th in at-bats (637), 6th in doubles (43), 7th in hits (191), 8th in RBIs (112) and 3rd in grounding into double plays (22).

Markakis also continued to play good defense as finished 5th in the league with 13 assists, 6th with a .994 fielding percentage. He was charged with just 2 errors in 318 total chances.

At the end of the season, Markakis could not agree to a contract extension with the Orioles and his contract was automatically renewed for another year at the baseline value of $455,000. He became eligible for arbitration after the 2008 season, and in the absence of a contract extension, would have become a free agent in 2011.

2008 season

Markakis began the season as the team's #3 hitter and starting right fielder. He played well early in the year, but as the season went into the summer months, Orioles manager Dave Trembley opted to move him into the #2 hole, placing Melvin Mora behind him.

Impressively, Markakis finished the season in the top 10 in the American League in AVG, OBP, OPS, G, R, H, 2B, BB, *OPS+, RC (runs created). He also led the league in times on base.[4] He raised his batting average to .306, slugged 20 home runs, hit 48 doubles (3rd in the major leagues), recorded 87 RBI, scored 106 runs and stole 10 bases on the season. He also had another stellar year in right field, notching 17 assists, which led the majors.

2009 season

Markakis batting for the Baltimore Orioles in 2009

Markakis signed a 6-year, $66.1 million extension through 2014 on January 22, 2009.[5] Markakis has also been honored with his very own shirt this season called "Nick the Stick, Camden's Finest."[6] He finished the season with a .293 average, 18 home runs, 45 doubles (7th in the majors), 101 RBI, 94 runs and 6 stolen bases, in addition to being 4th in the majors with 14 outfield assists.

2010 season

Markakis had a stellar 2010 season with the Orioles. He finished with a respectable .297 average, recording 45 doubles (5th in the majors), 60 RBI, 79 runs and 7 stolen bases.

2011 season

Markakis got his 1000th hit against the Cleveland Indians on July 15. He was also awarded a Gold Glove.

2012 season

After surgery to remove part of the hamate bone in his right wrist, Markakis was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career on June 1. He began his minor league rehab games with the Double-A Bowie Baysox on July 7, and returned to the Orioles on July 13. On September 8, 2012, Markakis was hit by a pitch by Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia and suffered a fractured thumb. He then missed the rest of the season and postseason. He later said that he would have been ready to play had the Orioles made it to the World Series—the team was eliminated in five games by the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series.[7]

2013 season

During the 2013 campaign, Markakis was hampered by his wrist injury from the previous season. Markakis had a career low in batting average (.271) and home runs (10), along with 59 runs batted in which was also far below his 162-game average of 81. However, he continued to play stellar defense, committing no errors for a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

2014 season

Coming off his worst offensive season, Nick Markakis added 16 pounds of muscle in the off season.[8] On April 26, Markakis got the start at first base against the Kansas City Royals due to an injury to teammate Chris Davis in the previous game. It was the fourth time Markakis has played at first base during his career. During the game, Markakis went 2-5 with 2 RBIs including a game winning walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning.

Through his first 102 games, Markakis had a .290 batting average with 34 runs batted in, 50 runs scored, and 7 home runs, and continued his errorless streak.

On August 3, 2014. Markakis collected his 1,500th career hit against Seattle Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma in the Bottom of the third inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. In his previous at-bat he collected his first career lead-off home run, a solo shot to right field to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Atlanta Braves

On December 3, 2014. Nick Markakis agreed to a four-year $44 million contract with the Atlanta Braves.[9] On June 18, 2015, Markakis passed Darren Lewis for the record of most errorless games by an outfielder in a game against the Boston Red Sox. The streak later ended on June 25, 2015, during a game against the Washington Nationals at 398 games. On July 20, Markakis hit his first homerun as a Brave against the Los Angeles Dodgers, off of Brandon Beachy. The homerun was also his first since September 2014.

Personal life

Growing up, Markakis was a Boston Red Sox fan.[10] He wore #21 while with the Orioles in honor of Roger Clemens,[11] but changed to #22 upon joining the Braves, as #21 is retired for Warren Spahn. Coincidentally, #22 was the number of right fielder Jason Heyward, who was traded from the Braves to the St. Louis Cardinals before the 2015 season, and replaced by Markakis.[12][13]

Markakis and his wife, Christina, had their first child on March 11, 2009. A baby boy, Taylor Jason Markakis, weighed in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce.[14] Christina gave birth to the couple's second child, Tucker Edward, weighing in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce, on May 27, 2010.[15] The couple's third son, Toby, weighing at 8 pounds, was born on September 11, 2013.[16]

The couple live year-round in Monkton, Maryland, where Markakis purchased a home during the 2008 season. He also owns a house in Waynesville, NC.[17][18]

Nick and Christina launch the Right Side Foundation.

Charity work

He has decided to donate 75,000 dollars per season towards the funds. His other outreach activities involve 'Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer', Prostate Cancer Foundation, and the Home Run Challenge. Nick was also nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award on September 2, 2009.[19]

Right Side Foundation

The Right Side Foundation was started by Nick and his wife Christina on May 28, 2009. The foundation was created to help distressed children, whether they are disadvantaged, sick, lonely, or grieving throughout Maryland. “Christina and I have adopted Maryland as our new home and believe that establishing our Foundation is the most effective way to formalize our charitable efforts and have the greatest impact on children in Maryland,” stated Nick.[20]

Christina and Nick explained that their love of children, and the birth of their son, Taylor, helped decide that the foundation would be based on helping children because they feel that every child deserves to enjoy promise and innocence. “Nick and I have always loved children. As new parents, we see great promise in our son and want to do our part to ensure that other children in Maryland have opportunities to grow and enjoy life," Christina explained.[21] The Markakis family suspended their charity in 2013[22] and continued philanthropic efforts through another charity, the Casey Cares Foundation.[23][24]


  1. "AP Sports Pronunciation Guide T-Z". Associated Press. November 28, 2011. Retrieved February 23, 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Shipley, Amy (March 25, 2006). "For Angelos and O's, Markakis Making Case". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 20, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Nick Markakis
  4. "Nick Markakis Statistics and History -". Retrieved August 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Markakis takes place as face of Orioles The Baltimore Sun
  6. Nick the Stick 21, Camden's Finest shirt
  7. Schmuck, Peter. "Nick Markakis says he would have been playing if Orioles made World Series". Baltimore Sun. Baltimore Sun Media Group. Retrieved August 6, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Markakis stronger, motivated heading into 2014
  9. "Nick Markakis coming home to play for Braves". Major League Baseball. Retrieved August 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Sherman, Joel (October 15, 2014). "The stat that could make Nick Markakis attractive for the Mets". New York Post. Retrieved November 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Maese, Rick (April 21, 2006). "Sosa jerseys get a makeover from Markakis fans". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Curtright, Guy (March 24, 2015). "Markakis looks good in return from surgery". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved November 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. McCartney, Cory (December 5, 2014). "Back in Atlanta, Markakis embracing pressure, opportunity". Fox Sports. Retrieved November 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Zrebiec, Jeff (March 13, 2009). "Congrats in order". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Markakis' son's birth makes for long day". May 28, 2010. Retrieved November 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Connolly, Dan (September 11, 2013). "Nick Markakis rejoins Orioles after the birth of his third son, Toby". Baltimore Sun.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Markakis takes place as face of Orioles". Baltimore Sun. January 23, 2009. Retrieved August 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Jeff, Zrebiec (March 7, 2010). "Markakis 'a whole lot more serious'". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Nick Markakis Named Orioles Nominee for the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award Presented by Chevy". September 1, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Sharrow, Ryan (May 26, 2009). "Baltimore Oriole Nick Markakis, wife, launch the Right Side Foundation".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Greetings from Nick & Christina Markakis The Right Side Foundation
  22. Ghiroli, Brittany (December 23, 2013). "Markakis, wife full of holiday spirit all year long". Retrieved November 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Orioles Reach, Nick & Christina Markakis partner with Casey Cares Foundation for 5k run/walk at Oriole Park this Saturday". July 30, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Orioles REACH, Nick & Christina Markakis partner with Casey Cares foundation for 5K run/walk at Oriole Park August 2". July 22, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links