December 20, 2011 by Matt Musico
As a diehard Mets fan, it was going to be tough for me to pass up on this golden opportunity to wish David Wright a very happy 29th birthday this year. When Jose Reyes was still a New York Met, him and Wright were undoubtedly the cornerstones of the franchise; two players that the organization must build around to have a perennial winner. After the 2006 season, most Mets fans thought the best was to come (as did I). However, one thing led to another, and now they are in the situation they are in now, and without Jose Reyes.
With Reyes signing with the Marlins, there is no question that Wright is now the face of the franchise, and a leader in the clubhouse. As long as he remains in the orange and blue for a few more years, he will shatter just about every offensive mark in the Mets record book.
Wright was born and raised in Virginia, actually growing up a Mets fan, watching their AAA affiliate at the time play right in his hometown of Norfolk. Once he was called up on July 21, 2004, it was pretty clear he would become a fan favorite and integral part of the franchise. Through his first seven seasons in the MLB, he has amassed the following statistics:
.300 batting average, 699 runs scored, 1248 hits, 183 home runs, 725 RBI, 151 stolen bases
Along with those numbers, Wright has been named to five All-Star teams, has won two Gold Glove awards, two Silver Slugger awards, and has been in the top-25 of NL MVP voting five times. Here is a sense of where he ranks in Mets history:
Eighth in games played, second in runs scored, third in hits, first in doubles, fourth in home runs, second in RBI, fourth in walks, second in career batting average.
It’s pretty clear that Wright is one of the best overall Mets players of all time. A lot of people have been saying that they need to get rid of him because New York needs change things up, he’s past his prime, he’s not a star player, etc. I think that it’s imperative that the Mets continue to build around David because he’s still very young and still has prime years left and he is the face of the franchise. Is he a star player? Absolutely. Should he be expected to carry a team for years at a time? Absolutely not. In my opinion, the Mets have not done a good job of building around Wright to help him became successful. With Ike Davis returning healthy, the emergence of Lucas Duda, and the fences moving in, will all play to David’s advantage. Also, hopefully Jason Bay can return to form and add more protection, allowing Wright to have a support system in that line-up.
Obviously, I don’t want him to go anywhere because he may be the only player that actually wants to stay with one team his entire career, and we all know how rare that is now, especially after seeing what happened at this year’s Winter Meetings.
So, happy birthday David, thank you for all that you’ve done in New York and what you will continue to do in the years to come.