July 21, 2004. Less than a month away from my 11th birthday, the New York Mets called up their top prospect who would soon become the face of their franchise. This was the beginning of the David Wright era.
At the time, being a 10-year-old kid, I had zero passion when it came to professional sports. I was a casual fan, sure, but I never observed them with the passion that I do now. All I can remember is my father saying to me, “Ty, this kid is gonna be a star and you’re gonna grow up watching him play.” I never knew how lucky I would be. Sure enough, come Opening Day 2005, a new diehard Mets fan was born.
To this day, I have admired no player in any sport more than I do David Wright. He was the first sports jersey I ever owned. His poster hung proudly in my bedroom for so many years. Whenever he was up to bat, I would stop whatever I was doing just to watch him hit. I always remember yelling at the TV after a strikeout or an error in the field and immediately looking at my dad saying, “He’s better than that, dad!”
Yesterday, I cried real tears as I watched my favorite player take and leave the field one last time in a New York Mets uniform. Although he had been absent for much of the past three seasons due to injuries, it was still hard to believe that this was really the end. The man I had grown up idolizing was finally hanging up the spikes.
David Wright leaves the field. 😭 pic.twitter.com/OnTdYMP2My
— SportsNet New York (@SNYtv) September 30, 2018
Just this one time, it is okay to cry in baseball.
Although his career was filled with losing seasons and unfortunate injuries, David Wright was always the bright spot in an otherwise bleak time. He always played at a high level and always wore the famous contagious smile throughout everything. It is because of this that he beloved by a city of suffering fans. We always had his back and he always had ours. He truly was our captain.
*chills* Unfortunately the Mets couldn’t get Wright a ring in 2015, but this will forever be one of the greatest moments of the captain’s career.
Say what you will about the Mets; that they’re a joke or they’re an embarrassment. For once though, they did something right. They gave one of their franchise’s best players the proper sendoff that he deserved. Hopefully, they’ll continue to do right next season by immortalizing Wright and retiring his number 5.
Although he’ll probably never read this, I need to say thank you one last time to David Wright. Thank you for making me, a 10-year-old kid, love the Mets and the game of baseball. Thank you for so many amazing memories. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for allowing me to grow up watching your iconic career. You will forever be my captain and my favorite player.
Photo: Daily News