On Saturday, September 29th, Major League Baseball and the New York Mets said goodbye to an icon. David Wright, the captain of the Mets took the field at third base next to Jose Reyes at shortstop one last time.
Wright broke into the league in 2004, where he played 69 games hit .293 and had 40 RBI’s. The Mets knew they had the third basemen of the future with Wright, but they did not yet realize the impact that he would have on the organization. Wright was instrumental in New York’s playoff run in 2006, where he was named to his first of seven all-star games. Wright proved to be a staple in the Mets lineup where he finished in the top three in all of the team’s offensive categories in a year where they scored more runs then all but one team.
After tremendous success and playing competitive baseball in his first few seasons, the Mets went into a tailspin, where Wright seemed to be the only bright spot on a team that continued to live up to its disastrous reputation from 2009-2013.
Wright gave Mets fans hope while he won two Gold Glove awards, 2 Silver Slugger awards, and being named to the 2013 team USA World Baseball Classic team where he earned the nickname “Captain America”.
After sticking it out with the Mets through thick and thin, The Mets decided to show showed Wright the same commitment he showed them. Wright was officially named the team captain in 2013.
When the Mets rebuild was finally over, and it appeared that the Mets were going to be able to compete for a World Series again, Wright went onto the disabled list a few weeks into the season. Wright was later diagnosed with spinal stenosis, which is the thinning of the spine. The rest of his career was now in jeopardy as many questioned whether or not Wright could still play. Wright returned in late August that season and helped the Mets make a push for the post season and later make a run to the World Series. In the 2015 World Series, Wright had one of his most iconic moments, where he hit a two-run first inning home run that put the Mets on top.
Even Though Wright returned in 2015, his career had already entered the twilight. On June 3rd, Wright went onto the DL with a herniated disc in his back and it appeared he would not be able to ever play again.
Wright continued to fight as he received surgery after surgery as he tried to make a comeback, but after a season and a half on the shelf, Wright and the Mets were forced to get together to decide their futures.
On September 13th, Wright and the Mets announced that Wright would play in one final game for the Mets on the September 29th. After this game, the Captain would officially retire.
Mets Fans from all over showed their love and support for Wright, including Utah Jazz rookie of the year runner-up Donavan Mitchell. Mitchell tweeted a picture of a poster he had of Wright, saying “This photo was the first picture i had on my wall! I looked up to you for years… as a kid to be able to learn from you and you to allow me to learn meant a lot! Thank you for all you have done for the game and for me. Finish it strong!”
On Saturday, the Captain took the field one last time, the same day where New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said that September 29th, 2018 would be known as David Wright Day. As Wright took the field, his teammates stayed back in the dugout, letting the fans show their captain the love he deserved for all of his dedication and commitment to the organization.
Wright’s daughter Olivia Shea was able to throw out the first pitch to her father, which truly helped magnify that this really was the captain’s night in front of a thunderous crowd at Citi Field.
David Wright received two at-bats where he walked and popped out. He also had one play in the field where he fielded an groundball and made the routine throw to first. Heading into the fifth, Wright came out for warm-ups before being switched out of the game, where he received cheers and ovations from the fans at Citi Field and all of the players on the field. Wright shook hands with the umpires and his manager Mickey Callaway, as this not only marked the end of Wright’s night, but also his career.