1. The Records
Wright is the Mets all-time leader in WAR for position players (50.4). He’s also the leader in runs (949), hits (1,777), RBI (970), walks (762), doubles (390), extra-base hits (658). There are other categories beyond that which basically shows Wright is the best position player the team has ever had.
2. The Moments
When you have a career as great as Wright’s, it’s hard to pick just one big moment. His Major League debut or his first home run. Standing on the field next to Jose Reyes with cigars after having clinched the division. The barehanded catch in San Diego. Him diving into the stands to make a catch. The game-winner against Mariano Rivera. The game-winner in the World Baseball Classic which led us all to dub him Captain America.
Any one of his seven All-Star appearances, which include the 2006 Home Run Derby, homering in his first All-Star at-bat, and starting in the All-Star Game played at Citi Field.
Wright homering in his first at-bat back from the disabled list. The slide against the Nationals. The fist pump after the RBI single in Game One of the NLDS. The clincher at Wrigley Field staring at the hat that said World Series. Hitting the first World Series home run at Citi Field.
Pinch hitting on Friday, and playing his final game on Saturday. Having his daughter throw out the first pitch to him. Fulfilling his wish of letting his girls see him play at least one baseball game. The ceremony honoring him after the game.
They were all great moments, and there were many, many more.
3. The Love
In a town like New York where everything eventually comes out, there was never a bad word or report from Wright. Instead, we heard reporters not only talk about Wright’s professionalism, but also what a good human being he was.
Finally, there are the fans. Perhaps, there is no more beloved Met than Wright. He was once one of us growing up watching players like Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Gary Carter, Mike Piazza, Edgardo Alfonzo, and many more. Unlike us, Wright got to wear the uniform of the team he grew up rooting for, and he acted like it every day he took the field.
Much like those former Mets greats who showed Wright love and mutual respect, we showered him with our love, respect, and admiration. Wright is part of the fabric of the New York Mets, and we that love the Mets love him.
1. No World Series Ring
When Wright and Jose Reyes were first called-up, Mets fans had visions of multiple World Series titles led by this duo. Sadly, it was never to be. Adam Wainwright would strike out Carlos Beltran. There were collapses in consecutive years. Terry Collins made a series of blunders and the late-inning defense was worse than that.
You can’t pin the blame on Wright for any of this. Wright would be the only Met to deliver an RBI in Game 7. In September 2007, he hit .352/.432/.602. In September 2008, he hit .340/.416/.577. He homered off Yordano Ventura.
Sadly, there would be no ring for Wright no matter how deserving he would be of that ring. Hopefully, he will be able to get one as a member of the front office.
2. The Injuries
Wright’s calling card early on in his career was he played every day. That remained true up until Jon Niese didn’t cover third leading to a collision resulting in a stress fracture. Wright himself considering this to be a turning point in his career saying, “Don’t think I haven’t thought about not trying to dive for Carlos Lee. It runs through my mind. What could I have done? [Tell pitcher] Jon Niese, get over there and cover third – it runs through my mind. It’s impossible to not think about things that might have gotten us to this point.”
It’s hard to disagree with Wright as he would only play 102 games that year, and he would have only one healthy year after that as he back degenerated.
Through it all, Wright never gave up and never made excuses. In the end, he did everything he could do to play. Even if he is not at peace with his career ending due to injuries, he can hold his head up high knowing he showed integrity on and off the field, and he did everything he could do to play.
3. It’s Over
The hardest thing to come to grips with is the fact we will never see Wright play again. He is arguably the best position player to ever don a Mets uniform. He’s set records, and he’s been a part of some of the biggest moments in Mets history.
It’s been an honor and a privilege to root for him for the past 15 years. Even though it’s all over, we Mets fans want nothing but the best for our Captain. Hopefully, one day he can get that elusive ring, and we can celebrate with him.
Goodbye and good luck Captain. We love you, and we all will miss seeing you play.