Recently, we spent the afternoon with former New York Yankees baseball star Mark Teixeira at the Canon PIXMA Perfect Gand Slam event in Manhattan. The best part of the day was meeting Mark. It is not every day that you meet your baseball hero.

There was a whole lot of things to do at this event. We were able to make a Father’s Day card, a mug with our picture on it and even frame a picture of ourselves. There was even a barbecue for all the guests. There also was an entire section just to practice pitching, which, if you love pitching, would be great for you. Sean had the most fun doing this.

But, the moment we were all waiting for was to hit some baseballs with Mark, and he gave us hitting advice during our time with him. After some batting practice, Mark gave us a fist bump and we asked him questions.

Not only did we play some baseball, but we took a ton of pictures using Canon’s high-tech professional cameras. We were able to print everything right away using Canon’s touch-screen printers. Connor really enjoyed taking pictures. We then were able to design our Father’s Day crafts.

Griffin asked Mark Teixeira, If you could have any wish, what it would be? Mark replied that it would be to have 1,000 more wishes, which Griffin thought was pretty smart. Sean and Connor loved that Mark chose the Yankees because they were the No. 1 team, and that he didn’t want to face the toughest pitcher at the time, Mariano Rivera. Gemma asked him what pictures do you cherish most? Mark answered thoughtfully, “I cherish photos of my kids because they are never going to be the way they are the day the picture was taken. They are always going to get older.”

We also asked him who his baseball hero was growing up and Mark said, “Mine was Don Mattingly; he was number 23 for the Yankees and he played first base also. He had this really sweet swing and I got to follow in his footsteps a few years after he retired.”

advertisement | advertise on newsday

We asked him his part in the Canon event and he said, “What Canon wants you to do is take a picture and send it into the photo contest for Little League and if you have a really cool picture that Canon chooses as a contest winner, you get to go to the Little League World Series with me and watch the games and do a lot of fun things. We also have some cool PIXMA printers that you can print out greeting cards or pictures for frames and much more.” To submit your photos go to faces.littleleague.org.

The entire day was fun — from riding the train into Manhattan, eating delicious food and playing baseball. Mark Teixeira was very kind and autographed a bunch of stuff for us. He was a great baseball player, and we wouldn’t be surprised if he is inducted into the Hall of Fame one day. The Canon contest gave us a wonderful memory that we will have for a very, very long time.