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Nicholas William Markakis (born November 17, 1983 in Glen Cove, New York) is a Major League Baseball right fielder for the Baltimore Orioles. Of Greek and German descent [1], Markakis is known for his arm strength, stellar right field defense and smooth hitting.[2][3]

Early life

Markakis was born on Long Island, New York, but he later moved to Woodstock, Georgia with his family, which includes his parents, Dennis and Mary Lou and his brothers Dennis, Greg and Michael (also an alumnus of Young Harris College).
College/Olympic career
Markakis gets full extension.

At Young Harris College, 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 awareded Baseball America's 2002 National JUCO Player of the Year.[4]

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
Draft

Markakis was originally drafted in 2001 by the Cincinnati Reds, from Woodstock High School in Woodstock, Georgia but decided to attend Young Harris College instead. The Reds drafted him again in 2002, but he returned to Young Harris.

He 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, Nick was widely viewed as a pitching prospect but the Orioles preferred his potential as a hitter.
Minor league career

Nick 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.
Major league career
Markakis on May 13, 2009.
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 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.[5] 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 on August 2, 2009.

Markakis signed a 6-year, $66.1 million extension through 2014 on January 22, 2009.[6] Markakis has also been honored with his very own shirt this season called "Nick the Stick, Camden's Finest."[7] 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 15th.
Personal life

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

The couple lives year-round in Monkton, Maryland, where Markakis purchased a home during the 2008 season.[9][10]
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 presented the Roberto Clemente Award on September 2, 2009.[11]
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.[13]
Nick and Christina launch the right Side Foundation.

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.[14]
References

^ Shipley, Amy (March 25, 2006). "For Angelos and O's, Markakis Making Case". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
^ Nick Markakis JockBio.com
^ Arangure Jr, Jorge (August 23, 2006). "Rookie Markakis Hits Three Homers". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
^ Nick Markakis JockBio.com
^ Nick Markakis Baseball-reference.com
^ http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/bal-sp.orioles23jan23,0,5184498.story Markakis takes place as face of Orioles] The Baltimore Sun
^ Nick the Stick 21, Camden's Finest shirt SportsCrack.com
^[dead link]http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-osnotes312,0,6979104.story?track=rss
^ http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-sp.orioles23jan23,0,1713391.story
^[dead link]http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/bal-sp.orioles07mar07,0,7609341.story
^ Nick Markakis Named Orioles Nominee for the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award Presented by Chevy MLB.com
^ The Right Side Foundation
^ Sharrow, Ryan (May 26, 2009). "Baltimore Oriole Nick Markakis, wife, launch the Right Side Foundation".
^ Greetings from Nick & Christina Markakis The Right Side Foundation

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