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David Wright

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2005 Fleer Tradition #110 David Wright

David Allen Wright
(Captain America)

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[edit] Biographical Information

David wright walking-615.jpg

2005 saw David Wright play his first complete season at the major league level after a successful and short minor league career in the New York Mets system. To say the least, it was a huge success. In 575 AB, David compiled 102 RBIs, 99 runs scored, while hitting for a .911 OPS. Add on his 17 stolen bases, and David had himself a monster first full campaign. If his season had one dark spot, it would have to be defensively. At third base, David was spectacular at times, but also inconsistent at others. While he has been an above average fielder his entire career, he seemed to take some steps backwards in 2005 to the tune of 24 errors. However, any shortcomings David may have had defensively that year were more than made up for by his bat, becoming the first Met since Mike Piazza in 2000 to hit for 100+ RBIs.

This was only a first taste of the tremendous success Wright would enjoy. In 2006, he drove in 116 runs with a .311 batting average as the Mets came within one game of reaching the World Series. He belted four hits, included two doubles, and collected 4 RBI in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but only went 4 for 25 with a home run in the NLCS which the Mets lost in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2007, he overcame a slow start to bat .325 with 42 doubles and 30 home runs, while scoring and driving in over 100 runs. He finished fourth in the MVP vote and won both a Silver Slugger Award and a Gold Glove. However, the season ended on a sour note as the Mets were edged out of the postseason by the Philadelphia Philies after an epic September collapse.

David Wright had another outstanding season in 2008, batting over .300 for the fourth straight year, with a career-high 33 homers and 124 RBI. He was third in the National League with 115 runs scored, another personal best. Although his fielding was not as sparkling as in 2007, he repeated the Silver Slugger/Gold Glove double, and this time was seventh in the MVP vote, as his teammate Carlos Delgado picked up some of the votes directed to Mets players. Once again, the Mets fell just short of the postseason as the Phillies went all the way to the Championship, but Wright's place among MLB's top performers was well secure.

In 2009, Wright became the first Met to homer in the new Citi Field, driving a Walter Silva pitch beyond the fence in left-center field for a game-tying three-run shot in the 5th inning of the Mets' home opener on April 13. At this stage in his career, David was being projected as possibly the best New York Mets positional player of all time. However, the rest of 2009 was not so bright; he was one of a number of Mets players complaining that the new ballpark's dimensions hurt his offensive production. His home run total fell to 10, and his RBI to 72 in 144 games, although he did maintain his batting average at .307. he was back to more familiar levels of production in 2010, batting .283/.354/.503 with 29 homers and 103 RBI.

Wright was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his lower back, resulting from a diving tag on Carlos Lee of the Houston Astros on April 19, 2011. The injury was not discovered for almost a month, and he continued to play for a time, but struggled at the plate. He was hitting .226 in 39 games when the verdict about the extent of his injury came out on May 16th. He was placed on the disabled list the next day. With 1B Ike Davis also out, the Mets were forced to shuffle their line-up in the absence of their two corner infielders. He returned to the line-up on July 22nd and immediately went on a torrid streak, getting a hit in each of the remaining games in July and batting .455 (20 for 44) with 12 RBIs in 10 games. On August 11th, he hit a double in a game against the San Diego Padres for his 2,048th total base, moving him past Ed Kranepool into first place all-time in Mets history. Overall though, it was his worst season in the majors, as he finished with a .254 batting average, 14 homers and 61 RBI in 102 games.

David started the 2012 season red hot, with 7 hits over his first 12 at-bats, but then injured a finger diving back to first base against the Washington Nationals on April 9th. Luckily, the injury was not serious and on April 18th, he had a 3-RBI day in a 14-6 loss to Atlanta, giving him 733 RBI for his career. That tied him with Darryl Strawberry for the most in Mets history; he passed him on April 25th with a two-run homer off the Miami Marlins' Mark Buehrle. On September 26th, he passed Kranepool again, this time on the Mets' all-time hits list, when he collected his 1419th base hit. He ended the year with a .306 average in 156 games, with 41 doubles, 21 homers and 93 RBI as the Mets' best offensive player. On November 30th, he was rewarded for his effort with an 8-year contract extension worth $138 million - the largest contract in the history of the franchise, beating by $1 million that given a few years earlier to P Johan Santana. A few weeks later, he announced his engagement to be married to model Molly Beers, whom he had dated for several years.

Wright was the starting third baseman and captain (earning him the nickname 'Captain America') for Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic and was the team's best player, hitting .488/.526/.753 with 10 RBI and being named to the all-tournament team (the only US player picked. He led the Classic in RBI by one over José Dariel Abreu, even though the US did not make the final round and even thought Wright missed the last US game due to injury. Among his key hits were a grand slam off Matt Torra that broke a 2-2 tie with Italy, and a 3-run double off Xavier Cedeño in a win over Puerto Rico. On March 21, 2013, he was named the fourth captain in Mets history, and the first since John Franco last played for the team in 2004.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 7-time NL All-Star (2006-2010, 2012 & 2013)
  • 2-time NL Gold Glove Winner (2007 & 2008)
  • 2-time NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (2007 & 2008)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 6 (2005-2008, 2010 & 2012)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 2 (2007 & 2008)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 2 (2007 & 2008)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 5 (2005-2008 & 2010)

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