In this photo by Julie Jacobson, a starstruck David Wright takes in the grandeur of an empty Shea Stadium before taking his first batting practice, after the New York Mets called up their top prospect on July 21, 2004.
Two hours later, the 21-year old Wright would see his lifelong dream fulfilled when he would make his Major League debut against the Montreal Expos. He took the field wearing the uniform of the team he had rooted for ever since that first catch he had with his dad back home in Chesapeake, Virginia,
“When I was a kid, I would have loved the chance to come to Shea and see the players I grew up watching in Norfolk.” And here he was.
“I didn’t get much sleep,” said Wright, after receiving a call the night before that he’d be flying to New York to join the team first thing in the morning. “It’s an incredible feeling. This has been my dream.”
At the time of his promotion, Wright was batting .298 with eight home runs in 31 games at Triple-A Norfolk after starting the season at Double-A Binghamton where he hit .363 with 10 home runs.
“It’s a big surprise, a shock you don’t expect,” he said. “I expect to do my part to help the team win if I can play up to expectations. My expectations are higher on myself.”
Wright batted seventh and went 0-for-4 in his debut, but as you all know, the best was yet to come. The rookie third baseman got off to a slow start and was batting .240 after his first two weeks with the team.
But on August 5th everything would change as Wright would finally have his coming out party and showed the baseball world why the Mets selected him with their first round pick in 2001.
Wright delivered his first three-hit game, driving two opposite field doubles into the gap and also blasting his fourth home run of the season – a three-run shot – as the Mets beat the Milwaukee Brewers 11-6 . In what was also Victor Zambrano‘s Mets debut, Wright would drive in six runs that night while scoring two.
“Some guys go a career without six RBIs,” Mets manager Art Howe would say. “He was Johnny on the spot.”
Wright’s major league career was well underway, and he would go onto providing us with so many more thrilling highlights and memories as a Met. Today, the Mets Captain turns 31. All of us at MMO wish David a Very Happy Birthday!