The crowd erupted when David Wright’s name was announced with the starting lineup. It erupted when he took the field for the first time. It erupted when he stepped up to the plate for the first time. David Wright could do no wrong on David Wright Day. How could he?
The festivities began before the game. Fans were in the stadium well before first pitch to watch the Captain take batting practice, where he homered (and received an ovation, naturally).
A tribute video was played on the scoreboard, but the pièce de résistance of the pregame festivities was when Wright’s two-year-old daughter, Olivia, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to her dad.
— Cut4 (@Cut4) September 29, 2018
Wright ran out to his position before the rest of the teammates, to the tune of 40,000-plus fans cheering. He was then joined by his longtime teammate and infield partner José Reyes, followed by the rest of the Mets starting nine.
Reyes led off the game with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Wright stepped up to the plate, with a chance to drive in a run. For a moment, it felt like 2006 again as we got a glimpse of the once-feared duo of Wright and Reyes. Wright didn’t get the run home, but did work the count and drew a walk, showing remarkable plate discipline for a man who hasn’t started a baseball game in over two years.
Here we go. pic.twitter.com/MUYmCaj02t
— SportsNet New York (@SNYtv) September 29, 2018
In his only fielding chance, Wright made a clean scoop and throw to first for the last out of the third inning. It wasn’t flashy, but it was solid and routine.
Then came his second plate appearance, the final of his career. Wright popped out to the first baseman.
For those expecting one last signature moment from Wright, there was no single one. However, the fact that he stepped on the field at all was iconic in itself. Not only that, he fielded his position and battled out a walk. Given the severity of his injuries, David Wright had no business playing in a major league game again. But he did. And he went out on his own terms.
For a man who endured devastating injuries and numerous losing seasons, Wright was more than deserving of the fanfare on Saturday night. His every move was cheered and for one last night he was the star of the show.
Before the the top of the fifth inning, Wright took the field, took a warm up throw and hugged Reyes. Then, to the sound of boos, Mickey Callaway emerged from the dugout to remove Wright from the game. It was the plan all along, but it still didn’t feel real.
Wright hugged all of his teammates on his way off the field, and gave a curtain call to the fans, who provided him with an enormous ovation. Then, for the final time, David Wright descended down the tunnel toward the clubhouse, with tears in his eyes and surely the eyes of many watching.