David Allen Wright was a career New York Met who will remain the face of the franchise for decades to come.
Wright enjoyed a 14-year career spanning from 2004 to 2018 as the Mets’ everyday third baseman. He made the All-Star team seven times and took home a Gold Glove twice. He also won two Silver Slugger awards and holds many Mets records. The Norfolk, Va., native was also just the fourth player to earn the captain title for New York. Furthermore, he was dubbed “Captain America” for his heroics in the 2013 World Baseball Classic with Team USA.
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Wright was selected by the Mets in the supplemental round of the 2001 MLB Draft. The 21-year-old debuted in July 2004 after a steady rise through the minor leagues and made an instant impact. An impressive 2005 merely preceded a true breakthrough in 2006. His offense put him in MVP conversations and also fetched an invitation to the Home Run Derby. Next, he took the Mets to their first pennant in over five seasons and earned a six-year, $55 million extension. Wright continued to play at a high level through 2010, making All-Star teams in five consecutive seasons. In 2012, the Mets gave Wright another extension, this time for seven years and $138 million.
In 2015, Wright battled spinal stenosis and missed a large period of time. He made it back in time for the playoffs and World Series but ultimately re-aggravated the injury in June 2016, ending his season. Wright tried to rehab, but his injury woes persisted. As a result, Wright retired at the end of the 2018 season. He finished his career with a .296/.376/.491 slash line and .867 OPS. Wright also hit 242 home runs and knocked in 970 runs. He just missed out on 200 stolen bases, finishing with 196.
Wright never earned MVP honors during his career but frequently remained in the conversation. His contributions on both sides of the ball were enormous in the scope of the Mets organization and MLB as a whole. New York made the playoffs three times during his career, including one World Series berth. Wright may not be a flashy MVP award winner, but he was the bread and butter of a great team.
Wright has impressive statistics, but he doesn’t have the longevity or career accolades that others in his era do. The Mets never won a championship throughout his career despite his success. There was not enough sustainability by Wright to keep the Mets in contention on a yearly basis. The extensive list of back ailments certainly doesn’t help his case, either. There are many players who had similar timelines to Wright that have yet to make the Hall of Fame. He was a great player, just not exceptional.
Would the league welcome such a well-liked figure into the Hall of Fame? Of course. Unfortunately, many similar players haven’t even sniffed the Hall. Injuries and a lack of longevity will prevent Wright from getting elected. He should still receive plenty of votes and may have a shot when the decision lies in the hands of the Veterans Committee.
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