Legends On Deck

An Open Letter to David Wright: Thank You

Photo by Gabe Rodriguez/LOD

Dear David Wright,

I have followed you as a player ever since you came up to the New York Mets on July 21, 2004. Ever since then, you’ve been a stalwart as a member of the Blue and Orange Brigade.

Your statistics speak for themselves. A career .296 batting average, you have amassed 242 home runs, 970 RBIs, 1777 hits, 390 doubles, and 196 stolen bases, a personal favorite statistic of mine.

Your plays on the field are among some of the best in team history. One of the greatest plays I’ve ever seen was in August of 2005, when you caught a pop-up in short left field with your back to the baseball…BAREHANDED at Petco Park in San Diego. I stayed up late watching the game and popped loudly in a sleeping house when you pulled off that incredible catch. I still hear about it to this day from my mother and brothers.

Your power, I feel, has been incredibly understated throughout your career. You being in the middle of the back-to-back-to-back home runs with Carlos Delgado and Paul Lo Duca in June 2007 was an testament to what could have been with a possible Met dynasty during the mid-2000s. You being the first Met to hit a home run in Citi Field during Opening Day 2009 etched your name into history. The most important home run of your career, to me, will always be the solo shot in the 2nd inning of your first game back in 2015 after the spinal stenosis diagnosis against the Philadelphia Phillies on August 24.

You have shattered individual club records and hold the all-time record in RBIs, doubles, total bases, runs scored, hits, extra-base hits, and sacrifice flies. If all feelings are correct, you will most likely have your number retired once you ultimately do.

Also, you are a student under the tutelage of my all-time favorite baseball player, “HoJo” Howard Johnson. I will never forget watching the 30th Anniversary of the 1986 World Series Championship team and seeing you both joking around for an extended greeting on the Citi Field infield. To me, you are the closest to being as incredible as HoJo.

However, your off-the-field achievements might be as impressive as your on-the-field stats.

The David Wright Foundation has been tremendous, helping raise money for projects and centers related towards multiple sclerosis. Also, your work with the New York Police Department has been inspiring, especially after your efforts with the Ramos brothers in 2015, months after the death of their father Rafael in the line of duty. Your countless fundraisers to raise money for charities overall have been incredible, and you utilize your power of celebrity to a positive.

Most of all, you are the Captain of the Mets, a role you have made the most of since 2013. You’ve been a mentor to a lot of the young talent. Many people took notice when you scolded Noah Syndergaard for breaking clubhouse code before the 2015 season and gave you props. As a fan, I could only imagine how much more you’ve done for other teammates, past and present, to better than as players and individuals.

I do have one personal “thank you” to give to you. It was in April 2006 at Shea Stadium. My friends Ed and Tom came with me to watch a Mets game. It was an afternoon game, so we made sure to get their extra early. Tommy’s goal was to get an autograph from you on a baseball. When we made it down to field level, you were near the Mets dugout. There wasn’t a lot of fans around, so we asked if you’d sign. You were pleasant and said you would. Moments later, a mass exodus headed towards you, but your time was limited. Just as you were about to enter the dugout, you looked at Tom and said, “Hey, I promised you one.” Tommy tossed you the ball, you signed, and went into the clubhouse. That was very cool of you and won us over as a fan for life of yours.

I don’t know if you are going to retire from the greatest sport of them all, or your body will hold up for one more season, but I wanted to write this open letter to thank you for everything you’ve done as a member of the Mets. You’ve proven to be quite a human being and an individual in sports. Thank you for being a Met.

Now, I stand on my desk while quoting Dead Poets Society: “O Captain, My Captain”.

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