Oh Captain, My Captain
Every generation of Mets fan have their “Face of the Franchise”. The 60’s and 70’s had Tom Seaver, the 80’s had Doc Gooden, the 90’s had John Franco, the late 90’s and early 2000’s had Mike Piazza and my generation, the mid to late 2000’s and early 2010’s, had the Captain, David Wright. Wright was drafted 38th in 2001 and debuted in 2004 and was an instant contributor hitting 14 homeruns, 40 RBIs and batted .293 in 69 games. He would quickly turn into a fan favorite and establish himself as a star in his first full season finishing 19th in the MVP voting in 2005. He would continue to play at an All Star level till 2013 where he made the All Star team every year from 2006-2013 except 2011. Wrights career would get derailed as spinal stenosis and other back issues would linger throughout the rest of his career limiting him to just 77 games from 2015-2018. Many thought he would never play another MLB game again, including myself, but after working his ass off rehabbing and training, he would make his final start on September 29th 2018. He ended his career as the Mets All Time leader in hits, doubles, RBIs, extra base hits and is second in homeruns behind Darryl Strawberry.
David Wrights last game was emotional for many reasons. The most obvious being that it would be the last time we were seeing David Wright suit up in a Mets uniform. But for me and a lot of other Mets fans my age, it was the end of the era that made us fall in love with baseball and the Mets. I would bet that David Wright was the favorite player of 80% of Mets fans who grew up watching the team in the 2000s, myself included. He was the ideal franchise player where on and off the field he was a superstar. He was an extremely well liked and respected person in the community and organization along with being the perfect role model to the younger fans like myself who idolized him. He was also extremely humble, always thanking the fans for their love and support, his entire postgame speech after his last game was just him saying thank you to the fans for accepting him.
I already laid out some of his career accomplishments on the field above but he is all over the Mets All Time hitting records, 7 All Star appearances, 2 Gold Gloves, 2 Silver Sluggers and he should’ve won the 2007 NL MVP I will go to my grave defending that. It is unfair that David Wrights career was cut short, he should be finishing out his career with this 2021 team and be passing the torch of the “Face of the Franchise” to Alonso or deGrom or Conforto or Dom or any of the young studs this team has. But this isn’t a perfect world, you can look back on his career as a what could’ve been and say maybe he’s a Hall of Famer if he stays healthy. I’m just happy that he was able to go out somewhat on his own terms and play one final game and I’m happy that I got to watch him play and grow up with him as the face of the New York Mets.