Dec 18, 2014

All Time Mets Third Baseman: David Wright: Part Two (2008-2014)

In 2008 the Mets put aside their disappointing season collapse & looked forward. Big things were once again expected in the final season of Shea Stadium as the new Citi Field loomed in the background getting its finishing touches nearing completion.

Wright drove in three runs, gathering up a pair of doubles on Opening Day in Florida in a 7-2 win against the Marlins. Two days later he had a three hit day with his first HR of the year driving in three more runs in a 13-0 shut out of the Marlins. In the middle of the month he homered in three straight games with a big day on April 15th against the Washington Nationals . That day Wright drove in five runs in the Mets 6-0 win, including a two run HR off Odalis Perez & a double off Joel Hanrahan.

On April 29th, He added a walk off game winning single on April 29th, against the Pittsburgh Pirates to finish the month of April. He closed out the month with 23 RBIs. In May he had an eight & nine game hit streak and then followed up in June by driving in twenty four runs.

With the Mets struggling at .500 in mid June, the team fired manager Willie Randolph & gave coach Jerry Manuel the position. The whole thing took place while on a road trip to Anaheim, Wright drove in two runs in Randolph's last game a 9-6 Mets win. After losing the first game under Manuel, the Mets won the second 5-4 with Wright gathering two hits with two RBIs.

In that months subway series he drove in runs in three of the four games, including a four hit three RBI day in the first game of a June 27th cross town double header. On July 7th he had a four RBI day in Philadelphia leading New York to a 10-9 win over the Phillies. He added another four RBI day, including a HR on July 17th at Cincinnati in a 10-8 Mets win.

On August 7th Wright hit a dramatic walk off HR against former Met, Heath Bell to beat the San Diego Padres 5-3. The next day as the Marlins came to town, Wright hit a two run HR off Ricky Nolasco as Oliver Perez & Aaron Heilman shut out Florida 3-0 on a combined two hitter. On September 10th, the Mets had an important win at Shea, against the Washington Nationals. In the 13-10 win, Wright led the charge with three runs driven in, keeping New York 3.5 games up on the Phillies.

In mid September he had two four hit days, also hitting three HRs over two games against the Atlanta Braves. He also homered in back to back games later in the month as well. The Mets once again blew the chance for the playoffs on the last day of the season, losing the last game ever played at Shea Stadium. Wright had driven in runs in five straight games from September 21st through September through the 25th. He also had a nine game hit streak which ended on the last day of the season where he was 0-4.

At third base he led the league in assists (286) & games played (160) posting a .962 fielding %.

For 2008 Wright batted .302 (tenth in the NL) leading all Mets regulars, as well as leading the club in most offensive categories: on base % (.390- 7th in the NL) RBIs (124- second most in the league) hits (189- also second in the NL) doubles (42-7th in the NL). He scored 115 runs (3rd in the NL) walked 94 times (5th in the NL) had a league leading 11 sac flies & was on base 287 times (2nd in the NL). 

He was second to Carlos Delgado in HRs (33) which was 9th in the NL. Wright came in 7th in the MVP voting & may have done better if the Mets had won the NL Eastern title. At third base he played 160 games, most in the league, led in assists (286) & was second in put outs (114) with a .962 fielding %.

In the 2009 Mets home Opener at the new Citi Field, Wright hit the first Mets HR at the new park, a three run shot in the 6th inning off Carlos Silva to tie the game. But in the 6th inning a Pedro Feliciano balk allowed the winning run to score after he had reached on a three base outfield error.

Wright started out the year with a ten game hit streak & had a dozen multi hit games in May. In a three game series against the Giants in San Francisco he had three straight three hit games, while driving in nine runs in the series. He put together a big 12 game hit streak the next month & was batting .350 in late June.

At the All Star break the Mets were in fourth place, six and a half games back, it was clear bad times were here again. Wright made his fourth All Star team, starting at third base going 1-2 in the NL's 4-3 loss. He was still batting .324 at the break, but only had five HRs & his power numbers were down in the new large Citi Field dimensions. He began to take criticism as the team fell further down in the standings. He missed two weeks of action going on the DL while suffering a concussion after getting hit in the head by a fastball from San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain.

He returned on September 1, wearing a new style Rawlings batting helmet, to help the impact of getting hit. In the month he only hit two more HRs as his average fell off to .307. The two HRs came on a big three hit, six RBI day at Philadelphia in a rare happy occasion during the last month of the dismal 2009 season.

In 144 games Wright hit just 10 HRs leading the injury ridden club in hits (164) RBIs (72) & doubles (39). At third base he led the league in put outs ( 119) & was third with 18 errors posting a .950 fielding %.

In 2010 Wright appeared at Spring Training two weeks early, in order to get a head start on the new season. 2010 was a better year for Wright although the Mets still finished at 79-83 in fourth Place. On Opening Day he hit a two run HR off Florida's Josh Johnson in his first season at bat, as the Mets began on a happy note 7-1. Two weeks later he reached a personal milestone as he got his 1000th career base hit.

On April 27th he had a big four RBI game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. In the game he hit a bases loaded triples off George Sherrill & added an RBI base hit in the 10-5 Mets win. In the first week of May he hit three HRs & had 18 RBIs for the month.

In June he was the NL Player of the month batting over .400 with 14 multi hit games, 30 RBIs & six HRs. It began with a three hit game on June 1st in San Diego, where his 6th inning HR proved to be the 4-2 game winner. From June 10th through June 17th he drove in runs in seven straight games, 14 RBIs overall in that stretch. He hit a pair of HRs at Camden Yards in Baltimore on June 13th driving in four runs, in the 11-4 Mets win.

After driving in a run in each of the three games at Baltimore, he drove in runs in all three games at Jacobs Field in Cleveland. In the series Opener he drove in three runs against the Indians in a 7-6 Mets win.

A month later, On July 30th he hit a pair of HRs in a the first game of a double header against the D-backs at Citi Field, driving in five runs in the Mets 9-6 loss. The next day he led the team to a 5-4 win as he drove in three more runs against Arizona with two more hits. In August after not hitting another HR in over three weeks since the Arizona game, he hit four HRs from August 17th to August 26th, getting his average back up to .290.

In September he hit two HRs on the road in back to back games. at Chicago & Atlanta. From September 19th on he his six HRs including one in three straight games beginning in Philadelphia on September 26th, followed up with back to back HR games at home against Milwaukee.

After his hot month of June, he didn't hit as well the test of the way, as his average fell on the season to a career low .283 up to that point. He still played in 157 games as he staying healthier on the season.

Wright hit 29 HRs with 36 doubles 19 stolen bases a .354 on base % while driving in 103 runs. It was his fifth year of driving in over 100 plus runs & he made his fifth All Star team as well. He led the league in sac hits for the second time. At third base he led the league in assists (321) put outs (110) & errors (20) putting up a .956 fielding % turning a career high 34 double plays.

That season the Mets brought up the highly touted prospect Ike Davis and Wright was now being looked at as the veteran of the younger team.

In 2011 Wright struggled again, he missed over two months of action with a stress fracture in his back, as the team fell to fourth place once again. There were even rumors during the season that he may be dealt away, as the team owners; the Wilpons had financial troubles losing money in the Bernie Madoff scandal. The team had a new manager in Terry Collins & a new GM in Sandy Alderson. Once again the Mets seemed to be in a rebuilding mode.

One of his highlights on the year was a single against Philadelphia on April 5th, giving him his 90th career game winning hit. The hit passed Mike Piazza for most game winning hits in Mets history. In July on his return from the DL he went 2-5 against the Florida Marlins and had a big return series going 6-14 with a HR three doubles & six RBIs. On August 8th in a home game against San Diego, he hit a two run HR, & then in the bottom of the 9th inning with the Mets down 8-6, he hit a single scoring Jason Pridie. The Mets won the game when Wright crossed the plate on a Lucas Duda base hit.

Wright would hit a three run HR when the Mets went to San Diego the next week in a 7-4 New York win. On September 16th in a 12-2 Mets win at Turner Field in Atlanta, Wright hit two HRs & drove in five runs for his biggest game of the year.

He finished 2011 with his lowest average to date .254 4 HRs 23 doubles 61 RBIs 54 walks & a .345 on base %. It was the first time in six years he did not make the All Star team.

In 2012 there was a lot of talk that Wright may be finished & that his time in New York was nearing its end. The Mets had already parted ways with their other franchise player, Jose Reyes fresh off his batting title year. Gone too were Carlos Beltran & any other remnants of the 2006 NL Eastern team,

It was a young rebuilding team that had a great first half, surprising everyone by being in second place. They faded in the second half finishing a poor 74-88 in fourth place.

Wright would lead the team in hitting (.306) RBIs (93) on base % (.391%) walks (81) doubles (41) hits (178) & runs (91) as well as at bats (581) & tie for games played (156) with Ike Davis & Daniel Murphy. He was second on the club with his 21 HR to Ike Davis who hit 32 HRs.

On Opening Day Wright drove in the only run of the game with a 6th inning single off the Braves Tommy Hanson in the 1-0 win. The win also marked the return of Johan Santana from his injuries, although he pitched five shout out innings he earned no decision. That week Wright showed he was not done just yet, as he drove in runs in his first five games & hit two HRs. He fractured his pinkie & would miss just three games, returning to go 3-5in a game against the Phillies.

On April 25th he passed Daryl Strawberry for on the all time Mets RBI list, with his 735th career run driven in, it came with a two run HR against the Miami Marlins. He would close out April batting .389 riding a ten game hit streak to May. On June 5th he passed Jose Reyes when he hit a solo HR off the Nationals Jordan Zimmermann for the all time Mets Runs Scored title (736).

His HR numbers were a bit lower but his average was up, in June was on a fifteen game hit streak & was leading the National League in hitting. At the start of July he drove in runs in all three games of a home set against the Philadelphia Phillies. He had two separate four RBI games where he hit HRs in that set as well, as the Mets took two of three.

He was also among the league's best in batting, hits, on base % runs scored & slugging but was snubbed for the starting position at the All Star Game. The San Francisco Giants Pablo Sandoval earned the start even though his numbers were nowhere near Wright's.

In the second half of the year the Mets fell apart, they began with a six game losing streak that Wright helped break on July 19th. That day he hit two HRs & drove in five runs in the Mets a 9-5 win at Washington. In August he struggled not hitting a HR until the 24th & his average fell from .333 to .316 by September.


In late September he got hot again, hitting four HRs in the final week & half of the season. On September 23rd, he hit a 1st inning HR off Ricky Nolasco whom he always hit well against, & drove in another run later leading the Mets to a 3-2 win over the Marlins. Wright would then have two three RBI games in which he hit HRs in a three game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field.

On September 26th at Citi Field, Wright passed Ed Kranepool as the Mets all time hits leader, during a 6-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On December 1st 2012 Wright signed an eight year 138 million dollar deal, making him the highest paid Met in history. This secures Wright as possibly being one of the most recognized Mets players (along with Tom Seaver & Mike Piazza) in team history when his career is over. Wright can possibly be the only superstar Met in team history to remain with the club for his entire career.

On March 21st after a Spring Training contest, it was announced that Wright was named the fourth Mets Captain in the clubs history. He follows the legacy of Captain's Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez & John Franco.

Wright started out with a good month of April in 2013, finishing the month with 20 RBIs a .415 on base % & a .291 batting average.  His first hit & RBI came on Opening Day in the Mets 11-2 win over the San Diego Padres. On April 16th he hit his first two HRs of the season, they came at Colorado in an 8-4 Mets loss. Wright began the month of May by hitting HRs in his first three games.
On May 1st he had a HR with three hits in Miami, in a Mets 7-6 win. On May 3rd in Atlanta, his top of the 9th inning HR off Craig Kimbrel tied the game in which the Mets went on to win in extra innings. The next day he hit a two run shot off the Braves Tim Hudson. On May 17th Wright hit a HR helping Matt Harvey to his fifth win of the year, to go 5-0. 
 
On May 27th, the Mets were down 1-0 to Phil Hughes & the AL New York club in the subway series at Citi Field. Wright blasted a HR to left center field to tie the game. The Mets would win the game on their way to a sweep, with an 8th inning RBI single from Daniel Murphy.  In June he collected his 1500th career hit, overall he hit five HRs, including two on June 20th in Atlanta in a 5-4 Mets win.

In July, Wright was selected to start at third base for the NL in the All Star Game played at Citi Field. He became just the fourth Mets player to have appeared in at least seven All Star Games. Wright had a big three days surrounding the All Star Game as he was treated with celebrity status around New York City. He was elected HR Derby team Captain & hit five HRs of his own in the contest.
When he was announced during the pre game introductions, he received a tremendous ovation from the home town fans at Citi Field. He then received the ceremonial first pitch thrown out by Mets Hall of Fame Pitcher; Tom Seaver. Wright went 0-2 in his first two at bats, before getting a 7th inning single off Greg Holland. It was one of the three lone NL hits in the 3-0 loss.
After the break, he battered two HRs in his first three games back to regular season play. Overall Wright would hit safely in all but three games the entire month of July, getting his average up over .300 again.

On August 2nd, he hit a two run HR in a 4-2 win over the Kansas City Royals at Citi Field. The next day he pulled a hamstring & was out of the line up until September 20th. Upon his return he hit a two run HR off the Phillies Cole Hamels in his first at bat. The next day he hit another HR as the Mets went on to sweep the Phillies in three games. The HRs put Wright second on the Mets all time HR list, passing Mike Piazza & second to Daryl Strawberry.

Wright finished 2013 playing 112 games (430 at bats) hitting 18 HRs with 23 doubles, a career high 6 triples (9th in the NL), 17 stolen bases, 58 RBIs & a .382 on base %. At third base he posted a .973 fielding %.

In February of 2014 Wright was voted "the Face of MLB" by fans online. But a bad season which probably had something to do with his recurring shoulder injury didn't even get voted to the NL All Star team. It was just the third time in ten years that he did not get the honor. The Mets needed Wright & Curtis Granderson to have good years in which they did not, this was a big reason the team finished narrowly under .500.

On Opening Day Wright had three hits including a 10th inning two run HR that brought the Mets within two runs, but they fell short in a 9-7 loss to the Miami Marlins. In April he did have a twelve game hit streak, got over the .500 mark then fell off. His next HR came on May 10th, it was a three RBI day in the middle of a streak where he drove in runs in five straight games. He had four hits & drove in three runs in the subway series across town in the Bronx, in which the Mets won both games. By the end of May he was batting .295 & leading the club with 30 RBIs.

In June he hit just two HRs, but starting on June 17th, he drove in runs in seven straight games, eight of nine. Over the next month he would drive in runs in 17 of 28 games. This included an eleven game hit streak as well as keeping his average up in the .285 range. On July 11th he hit what was his last HR of the season, it came against the Marlins at Citi Field in a 7-1 Mets win.

He started out August with a 13 game hit streak but the nagging shoulder injury acted up & by the end of the month his season was winding down. On September 8th, with the Mets seemingly out of contention, he & the team agreed to end his season. Wright finished off with a .269 batting average, 144 hits, 8 HRs, 30 doubles, 63 RBIs, 8 stolen bases in 13 attempts & a .324 on base %. The on base % was the lowest of his career & his average was his second worst as he  hit .254 in 2011. He also grounded into 22 double plays (4th most in the NL) & struck out 113 times in 535 at bats.

On the field he posted a .954 fielding %, as he committed five errors at third (4th most in the NL) second to Daniel Murphy on the club.
 
In late December Wright began to swing a bat for the first time in preparation of next season. A good season is needed from him if the Mets are going to contend.

Going into 2015, for his career; Wright has played 1497 games at third base (41st most all time). He has made 1041 put outs (82nd all time) with 2832 assists (48th all time) & has turned 230 double plays (53rd all time).

All Time Mets Leader Board: Wright is the Mets All Time leader in RBIs (939) hits (1702) walks (713) doubles (375)  sac flies (65) total bases (2819) at bats (5707) hit by pitches (45) strike outs (1201) & games played at third base (1497).
He is second all time in Mets games played (1508) & HRs (230). He is fourth in stolen bases (191) sixth in slugging (.494%) & third in on base % (.377%). His .398 average is second to John Olerud (.315) with anyone who has had over 1000 at bats.
David Wright is looked at as one of the nicest guys in baseball, a true gentleman known for his politeness. Besides being known as the Team Captain, he is also called Captain America. He arrives at the ball park early & signs auto graphs before the game & after.
Personal: He currently resides in the lower East Side of Manhattan as well as Manalapan, New Jersey. He has been dating model Molly Beers for a few years & the two announced their engagement this past year .
Wright has a Delta Airline MD-88 plane named after him. The planes name along with his Jersey number 5 & his signature appear on the boarding door. The plane is a shuttle between New York, Boston & Washington D.C.

Charities: The David Wright Foundation is his own charitable organization in which it brings an awareness about multiple sclerosis. The Foundation raises money through events, contributions & various projects. Its first annual gala was held at the NY stock Exchange in 2005 raising two million dollars. He is also very active in the Boys & Girls clubs of America.

All Time Mets Third Baseman: David Wright- Part One (2004-2007)

David Allen Wright was born December 20, 1982, in Norfolk, Virginia. He was raised in Chesapeake, Virginia, growing up a Mets fan being in the area of the team's AAA clubs at Tidewater & Norfolk.

Wright attended Hickory High School in Chesapeake, Virginia, and was the 2001 Gatorade Virginia High School Player of the Year. He also earned All-State honors in 1999, 2000 and 2001 and was named Virginia All-State Player of the Year in 2001. Over his four-year career at Hickory, Wright hit .438 with 13 home runs and 90 RBI.

Wright was chosen as the Mets first round pick (38th pick overall) in the 2001 amateur draft, as compensation for losing Mike Hampton to free agency. The six foot right hand hitting Wright was chosen after the Mets first pick, Aaron Heilman.

In 2003 he won the Sterling Award for best Player at A ball St. Lucie with 15 HRs & 75 RBIs batting .270. The following year he batted ..363 in 60 games at AA Binghamton hitting 10 HRs with 40 RBIs. He was promoted quickly to AAA Norfolk where he hit .298 with 8 HRs & 17 RBIs in 31 games before getting called up to the Mets. The David Wright era began with alot of hype as he was being called the franchise player of the future.

David Wright made his debut at Shea Stadium on July 21st, starting at third base against the Montreal Expos. He went 0-4 that night but got two hits including a double the next day. In Montreal on July 26th he hit his first career HR off John Patterson. He began to hit well in August gathering up nine multi hit games, including his first four hit game on August 21st in San Francisco, where he hit three doubles. On September 2nd he had his first multi HR game, coming at Florida as he drove in four runs with a pair of HRs against the Marlins. He had a good September driving in 19 runs, while raising his average to .293.

On the last day of the season he hit a two run HR & drove in a third run in the Mets 8-1 win over Montreal, in the teams last game as the Expos, before moving on to Washington D.C as the Nationals the next season. Wright ended the year with 14 HRs 17 doubles 40 RBIs 6 stolen bases a .332 on base % in 69 games (263 at bats).

In 2005 the 22 year old Wright took over as the Mets starting third baseman, a position he would hold into the next decade. Wright hit two HRs during the first week of the season, and hit his first grand slam on April 19th in a 16-4 Mets romp at Philadelphia. In May he drove in 18 runs, including a stretch where he drove in runs in four straight games & another where he drove in a run in every other game over a ten day period. He put together a 15 game hit streak in July & remained consistent in the first half of the year batting above .290.

After the break he drove in nine runs in the final week of July, but then in the first two weeks of August he went on another tear. He hit safely in 10 of 12 games, driving in 17 runs in the first two weeks of that month, including a huge four hit six RBI day at San Diego on August 10th. The day before he made his famous bare handed grab on a Brian Giles bloop to left center field. He caught the ball with his back to the plate & held onto it after crashing & tumbling to the ground. The Petco Park fans gave him a standing ovation & it was later voted "This Year In Baseball's Play of the Year". He had a big month driving in 27 runs with six HRs and an eleven game hit streak raining his average to .313.

On September 24th he hit a grand slam HR at Washington leading New York to a 5-2 win. The next day he hit a two run HR leading the Mets to a 6-5 win. He stayed hot as the year ended hitting 4 HRs with 7 RBIs in the last five games of the year. At bat for the year, he was all he was hyped up to be. Coming in the league's top ten in many offensive categories.

Wright hit .306 (9th in the NL) with 42 doubles (7th in the NL) 102 RBIs (10th in the NL) 176 hits (10th in the NL) 70 extra base hits (10th in the NL) & 14 HRs (second on the club to Cliff Floyd). He also led the team in runs scored (99) on base % (.388%) & walks (72), his 17 stolen bases were tied for second behind Jose Reyes.

He struggled on the field making 24 errors tied with Troy Glaus for the MLB lead. Wright did lead all NL third baseman in games played (160) assists (336) & helped turn 24 double plays

As the 2006 season began, Wright sealed the Mets Opening Day 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals with a 6th inning HR. He drove in runs in his first six games, including having back to back three RBI games against the Florida Marlins on the tail end. His 9th inning sac fly on April 9th was the walk off game winner against those Marlins. On April 28th he hit a pair of HRs in Atlanta, one off John Smoltz & another off Chris Reitisma leading Pedro Martinez to a 5-2 win. On May 5th he had another walk off hit, this time a double against the Atlanta Braves Jorge Sosa.

On May 19th in the Opener of a three game subway series at Shea, Wright had three hits including the now classic game winner. In the 9th inning with two out & Paul Loduca on second base, Wright doubled off Mariano Rivera to deep center with the game winning hit over the centerfielder's head. The win sent a message that the 2006 Mets were the best team in New York that year, the Mets were back.

A week later he had another walk off game winning single against the Arizona D-backs n Memorial Day. In June he won the Player of the Month Award hitting ten HRs with 29 RBIs, a ten game hit streak & hitting safely in 15 of 17 games to begin the month. On June 4th he hit a pair of Hrs in San Francisco in a 7-6 Mets loss. On a road trip to Philadelphia he hit HRs in all three games, driving in six runs in the Mets sweep of the Phillies.

On Sunday June 18th he hit a grand slam off the Orioles Adam Loewen, leading New York to a 9-4 win at Camden Yards in Baltimore. On June 22nd he had another two HR game, this time against the Cincinnati Reds at Shea Stadium in a four RBI 6-2 Mets win. The next day the club traveled to Toronto & Wright hit another HR driving in three of the six Mets runs. He made his first All Star Game start that summer, hitting a HR in his first All Star at bat off AL pitcher, Kenny Rogers.

The previous night he participated in the HR derby coming in second place. His second half wasn't as strong & many people blamed the HR derby as cursing him in the second half.

In August Wright signed a six year $55 million contract extension, donating 1.5 million to the David Wright Foundation through the course of its lifetime.

On August 8th he tied up a game with a single & then put the Mets ahead in what would be the winning run in a Shea game against the San Diego Padres.On August 30th he hit another grand slam at Colorado, driving in five runs in the Mets 11-3 win over the Rockies. In September he had three different games where he drove in at least three runs.

On September 18th, the Mets clinched the NL Eastern title at Shea, their first since divisional title 1986. It was a long time coming, Wright & Jose Reyes were now the faces of a new Mets post season club.

He finished the year batting .311 (tenth in the NL) second on the club to Paul LoDuca (.318). He led the team with 40 doubles, tied with Carlos Beltran with 116 RBIs (7th in the NL) was third on the club with 26 HRs. He also had 181 hits, 96 runs scored 20 stolen bases & a .381 on base %.

Many believed he was the Mets best candidate for the NL MVP Award, even Tom Glavine said: "He's probably been our most clutch hitter over the first half of the season and he's certainly thrown his hat into the MVP talks." That year he appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman as well as MTV's all request Hour with team mate Cliff Floyd.

Post Season: In Game #1 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Wright doubled home Paul LoDuca & Carlos Delgado in the 6th inning, putting the Mets up 4-1. The Dodgers tied the game in the top of the 7th, Carlos Delgado put New York up 5-4 in the bottom of the 7th, then Wright doubled home Carlos Beltran with the 6th run, of the 6-5 win. He went 1-4 in each of the next two games, driving in a run in the Mets 9-5 Game #3 clincher.

He struggled in the NLCS against the St. Louis Cards batting just .160 (4-25). He hit a HR in Game #4 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, overall he hit .216 in ten post seasons games.

In 2007 Wright led the team in hitting with a career best .325 average (7th in the NL). He was topps on the club in doubles (42) on base % (.416-5th best in the NL) walks (94-7th in the NL ) & hits (196-4th in the NL). He was second on the club to Carlos Beltran in HRs (30) & RBIs (107-9th in the NL). That year he also stole 34 bases (7th in the NL) & got on base the most times of any one in the league (296).

He came in fourth in the years MVP voting & made another All Star start. He began the year with a fourteen game hitting streak, but then dropped off to finish April with a .244 average.

That month his younger brother Stephen, was enrolled at Virginia Tech. University & attending classes at Norris Hall, the scene of the tragic shooting events at the Virginia Tech. Massacre. David eventually got hold of his other brother & found out Stephen was safe.

At that point one of David's many endorsements included Vitamin Water in which he was the spokesperson. That May when the company was sold to Coca Cola, Wright netted $20 million dollars in the deal, overnight.

In the May Subway series at Shea Stadium, Wright hit a pair of two run HRs off Mike Meyers, in 10-7 Saturday afternoon Met victory. The next day he hit another HR & then another two days later as the Mets went to Atlanta. In the month of May he hit eight HRs with 22 RBIs. He entered June with an 18 game hit streak, and hit a HR in each game of a three game inter league set at Detroit against the Tigers.

On June 23rd interleague game against the Oakland A's in front of 52,000 at Shea Stadium, Wright doubled home the games only run in the bottom of the 9th inning with a double off A's pitcher Santiago Casilla. On July 4th Wright had three hits with a three run HR & four RBIs off Josh Fogg at Coors Field in a Mets 17-7 Independence Day victory. On July 7th he Wright hit a solo HR off Houston's Woody Williams to tie up a game in the 6th inning. The game lasted into the 17th when Carlos Beltran & Wright both drove in runs giving the Mets a 5-3 win.

In California road trip, on a stretch from July 18th -24th he drove in a total of eleven runs in a five game, including two HRs. Wright started at third base for the NL All Star team in San Francisco's AT & T Park going 1-3 on the night in the AL victory. He would drive in runs in five more straight games in August & bring his average back up to .320, with 14 multi hit games while driving in twenty runs. Wright had a good September hitting safely in all but just four games on the month.

He hit six HRs from September 1st through the 16th but no more the rest of the way. On September 2nd he hit a solo shot off the Braves John Smoltz in a 3-2 Mets win at Atlanta & then another the next day in Cincinnati. On the following home stand, he hit four HRs, including two against the surging Philadelphia Phillies.

Wright became the third Met in team history to join the 30-30 club joining Howard Johnson & Daryl Strawberry. He is the third youngest player in MLB history to reach the milestone.

He closed out the year with a sixteen game hit streak, driving in five runs in the last ten games, although the Mets collapsed during the final two weeks of the season. Midway through September they had a five game lead in the NL East over Philadelphia in which they blew by losing six of their last seven games.

Defensively Wright won his first of two straight Gold gloves as well as being named the third baseman of the NL Silver Slugger team.

Old Time NY Giants Player: Fed Merkle & The Legendary Story "Merkle's Boner" (1907-1915)

Frederick Charles Merkle was born December 20, 1888 in Watertown, Wisconsin. The six foot one, right handed hitting first baseman was raised in Toledo Ohio.

Merkle was signed by the New York Giants debuting at age 18, as the youngest player in the league in 1907. He only played in 15 games batting .255 going 12-47.

In the Crazy baseball year of 1908, he played in 38 games as a utility player at the major league level batting .268 with one HR seven RBIs (11-47) .

Merkle's Boner: During the 1908 baseball season the New York Giants & the Chicago Cubs were involved in a tight pennant race. On September 23rd the Polo Grounds in New York was packed with fans as the two teams battled in a tie for first place. The score was tied 1-1 going to the bottom of the 9th inning with the Giants Moose McCormick on first base.

Nineteen year old Fred Merkle came to the plate and singled to right field, as McCormick moved over to third base on the hit. The next batter Al Bridwell, singled bringing home McCormick with what was looked like the game winning run. The happy Giants fans emptied on the field, on their way to the exit through centerfield which was common in those days. Fred Merkle jumped for joy, then started walking toward the outfield club house where the locker room was then located.

The problem was he never touched second base. Cubs shortstop Johnny Evers screamed to his outfielder Solly Hoffman for the ball, so he could force Merkle on second base. Evers also alerted umpire Hank O'Day of the situation & the fact he was going to force the runner out.

Oddly enough, The same type of play happened a few weeks prior involving the Cubs & the same umpire. Meanwhile the Giants Christy Mathewson saw what was developing on the field & tried to get Merkle back to touch second base. The Giants third base coach" Iron" Joe McGinnity, ran over to cut the ball before it reached Evers.

As the ball came in to the infield, it was said McGinnity, Evers as well as a few Giants fans all fought for it. All hell had broken loose, some accounts say McGinnity got the ball and threw it back into the stands. Others say a fan grabbed it and was beaten up by Evers& had it taken away from him.

Others say the fan who retrieved the ball, got tackled by other Cubs players & they got the ball back tossing it to Evers. Some accounts say a new ball was brought in from the Cubs dugout having nothing to do with the play.

Either way Evers ended up with a ball and then he then touched second base to force Merkle out. Cubs manager Frank Chance argued his point, claiming Merkle never touched second base. Giants manager John McGraw was furious and argued his case that the run had scored & game was over. With hundreds of Giants fans on the field the Umpires were not going to reverse the call at that time, for fear of their lives.

They met under the stands and decided Merkle was out, and the winning run wouldn't count. The game would end in a 1-1 tie and the rule would from here on forever be enforced. The next day the New York fans awoke to the shocking turn of events in their morning newspaper.

As fate would have it, the Giants & the Cubs ended up tied at the end of the regular season. A one game playoff was played at the Polo Grounds to decide the 1908 National League pennant. Never before in the history of the game had so many people anticipated this much excitement for a game.

Crowds began to gather the night before, NYPD had extra police on site overnight as the crowds gathered. The Giants made sure no one filled up the bleachers on the overnight as well. It is estimated anywhere from 80,000 to 100,000 people tried to get in to the park.

People were lined up on the hills of Coonans Bluff, 8th Avenue, & the Speedway which is now the Harlem River Drive. They climbed utility poles & the elevated 8th Ave. train tracks for a view. Some fans burned down a section of the fence to try to get in.

One poor fellow was cheering a play & fell off the elevated train tracks from which he was hanging on, to his death.

The Giants took a 1-0 lead on a Turkey Mike Donlin double, but the Cubs got to the Giants ace Christy Mathewson for four runs. In the end the Cubs ended up winning the game 4-2 in a very hostile environment. By game's end they feared for their lives as they exited past the angry crowd. The Cubs went on to win the World Series that year, but haven't won another Championship since some 103 years later.

John McGraw & the Giants team never blamed Merkle for losing the Pennant for them. But the fans as well as the press did, they never forgave him & Merkle took the play to his grave. It would forever be known as "Merkle's Boner" & a somewhat very good career was never recognized.

In 1909 he played behind Fred Tenney who was in his last season as the Giants first baseman. That year John McGraw's Giants finished in third place, Merkle hit just .191. By the time he was 20 years old, Merkle became the Giants regular first baseman, a spot he would hold for the next six & a half seasons.

John McGraw called Merkle a shrewd, aggressive player, as well as a very good hitter. Merkle hit .292 in his first full season, hitting 35 doubles (4th in the NL) 14 triples (8th in the NL) driving in 70 runs (10th in the NL).

At first base he led the league in errors for the first of three straight seasons although he was second in assists, games played & fourth in put outs. He would be in the league's top ten in batting twice, RBIs & extra base hits five times each, doubles, HRs & stolen bases four times each.

In 1911 the Giants won another pennant, Merkle batted a modest .283 but received votes for the MVP Award due to his 49 stolen bases (4th in the NL). He also hit 12 HRs (5th in the NL) & had 84 RBIs (10th in the NL).

He struggled in the World Series loss to Connie Mack's Philadelphia A's, batting just .150 with one RBI. The Giants won the next two pennants as well, losing the World Series to the Boston Red Sox (1912) & Philadelphia A's again ( 1913).

In 1912 he had another big year batting .309 with 11 HRs (3rd in the NL) 22 doubles 84 RBIs (9th in the NL) & 37 stolen bases (5th in the NL). 

Post Season: In the 1912 World Series he batted .273 driving in a run in the Giants, Game #6 five run first inning Red Sox pitcher Buck O'Brien balked home a run with Merkle at bat, then he doubled to right field driving in a run. Buck Herzog drove in Merkle with another doubles in the next at bat. The Giants went on to a 5-2 World Series clinching win at the Polo Grounds.

In 1913 he fell to a .261 average , with 12 triples & 69 RBIs as New York won the pennant. In that World Series he hit .231 (3-13). The next year Merkle led the league in strike outs (80) as his average fell to .258. 

In 1915 he rebounded to a .299 average but midway through 1916 he was only hitting .237 when he was traded to the Brooklyn Robins for Lew McCarty. He got to another World Series that year with Brooklyn losing once again to the Boston Red Sox.

The next year his contact was purchased by the Chicago Cubs and he hit .297 his first season there with 25 doubles & 65 RBIs (4th in the NL) while stealing 21 bases. He got to his fifth World Series that year but lost to Boston once again. This would be the last World Series the Boston Red Sox would win until 2004.

In Merkle's five World Series he batted .239 (21-88) with one HR, one stolen base, nine walks & nine RBIs in 27 games. Merkle finished out his 16 year career with the AL New York club playing in 18 games over the 1925 & 1926 seasons.

He batted .273 life time, playing in 1638 games, with 1580 hits 61 HRs 81 triples 290 doubles 733 RBIs 232 stolen bases & a .429 on base %.

Retirement: After baseball he moved to Florida and during the Depression worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). After that he became a partner with a small manufacturer of fishing equipment in Daytona Beach. He refused to talk about baseball to reporters after he left the game. Merkle passed away of natural causes on March 2, 1956 at age 67.

After many years, Fred Merkle has received some love in his hometown of Watertown, Wisconsin. The city's main high school baseball field at Washington Park is named Fred Merkle Field. Also a black plaque honoring him was erected in the park on July 22, 2010.

In a humorous remembrance, Merkle's Bar & Grill, is a popular Wrigleyville bar just one block south of Wrigley Field in Chicago. It is named after Fred Merkle, and features his image prominently in the bar's logo and interior.