When New York Mets captain David Wright was diagnosed with spinal stenosis this past weekend, an alarm was set off in the minds of Mets fans that it may be the end of his career. For those who do not know exactly what spinal stenosis is, webmd.com defines it as “the narrowing of spaces in the spine…which causes pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.” This sports injury has caused numerous athletes to retire, such as David Wilson of the New York Giants and former Olympic athlete Kaitlyn Farrington. Therefore, while it may be in the hopes and prayers of Mets fans everywhere, it may be time for Wright to call it a career.
To this point, Wright has had a tremendous career as the Mets third baseman. When he arrived in 2004, Wright quickly became a favorite of the fans and front office. From 2005-2009, Wright hit .310/.394/.518 with 116 homeruns, 86 stolen bases, and had a 27.2 WAR. Since 2009, Wright has hit .286/.361/.463 with 91 homers, 74 stolen bases, and has had a 20.6 WAR. As a total, Wright has been an extremely consistent player for the Mets and has been elected to the All Star Game seven times (it should be eight but San Francisco Giants fans were able to make a last minute push to get Pablo Sandoval elected instead).
Throughout his career, Wright has received numerous awards and consideration for many other awards as well. Wright finished in the top 10 for the voting of the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award five times, the highest being his fourth place finish in 2007. Wright probably would have won the 2007 MVP Award if not for the Mets’ dramatic/infamous collapse. Along with the MVP nominations, Wright won two Gold Glove Awards and two Silver Slugger Awards, both coming in 2007 and 2008. But most importantly, Wright received three votes in the 2012 Presidential Election…and yes, you did read that correctly!
Through all his accomplishments both on and off the field, Wright’s most memorable moments might be from his days playing for the United States’ ball club during the World Baseball Classic. In 2013, Wright hit a grand slam during a ballgame, and was dubbed with the nickname “Captain America”. Wright led the United States in batting stats in 2013, and was 14th overall. The next best American on the list was Joe Mauer, and he was all the way down at 17th overall.
Now in his 12th big league season, Wright would only need a few more years in the majors to be a Hall of Fame worthy player. However, that may not be plausible, depending on whether or not his spinal stenosis goes away. At the very least, he has earned a place in the Mets Hall of Fame, and should have his number hung on the left field wall amongst the other Mets greats.
We probably will not know what the situation will be for a while, but it is important for Mets fans to keep their heads held high and hope for the best. Nobody in the entire world of sports should ever have to retire from an injury, whether it be spinal stenosis or anything else, so on behalf of everybody at mets360.com as well as Mets fans everywhere, I would like to issue the following letter to Wright:
Dear David Wright,
So far in your career, you have been an inspiration to me as well as every other Mets fan. Your career numbers shall never be forgotten, nor shall what you have done off the field to help those in need. Be sure to do all that you can to get better, and do not forget to put yourself first. If you feel it is time to retire, do so. Nobody should guilt you into possibly hurting yourself further, because spinal stenosis is no joking matter. Of course, you do not deserve to go out this way, and hopefully you won’t; but thank you for having a wonderful career and helping the Mets through both good times and bad.
Hope to see you on the field soon,