September 29 will almost certainly be an emotional evening at Citi Field as the New York Mets take to the field to face off against the Miami Marlins.
According to the MLB website, that night will likely be the last time that legendary Mets third baseman David Wright plays a game in the majors. Having been diagnosed with spinal stenosis in 2015, Wright’s condition since then has prevented him from returning to play in any consistent fashion. Since his diagnosis approximately three years ago, the third baseman has appeared in just 75 MLB games with his home team.
In a struggle to hold back tears during a news conference held concerning his final activation due at the end of September, Wright made it very clear that his medical prognosis would almost certainly end his baseball career at the conclusion of the month.
“Physically and the way I feel right now, and from everything that the doctors have told me, there’s not going to be any improvement,” Wright said. “So yeah, I don’t see [playing beyond September] as a possibility.”
Wright’s forced exit from the sport does not erase his athletic legacy, which is both long and storied. The Mets legend has never played for another team during his 13 seasons in Major League Baseball, a loyalist through and through to his dugout and the men who work within it. A two-time Golden Glove Award winner, two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and seven-time All-Star, the accomplished third baseman is one of the most recognizable faces of his club — past, present, and likely future. Wright is the Mets all-time leader in hits, doubles, walks, RBIs, and runs scored.
During the press conference, a visibly emotional Wright mentioned his two young daughters multiple times, 2-year-old Olivia Shea and 4-month-old Madison. Anthony DiComo of the MLB website suggests that it’s also quite likely that one of Wright’s many motivations to take to the field at least one last time is to perform in front of his young daughters.
Though David Wright and Mets COO Jeff Wilpon — joining Wright at his table — conspicuously avoided using the word retirement to describe Wright’s predicted absence from the roster in the future, the latter did assure fans and colleagues that Wright would be inducted into the team Hall of Fame. His number, No. 5, will also be retired at some point in the future.
Love you #5 ❤️— Jose Reyes (@lamelaza_7) September 13, 2018
Mets veteran Jose Reyes, who works next to Wright in the position of shortstop and who spent much of his early career in the majors playing alongside No. 5, took to Twitter to share his affection for a long-time friend and teammate.
Wright remains under a guaranteed contract of $29 million for seasons encompassing 2019 and 2020, with a source indicating that he will receive his salary for said seasons. For the previous seasons in which Wright remained largely absent, Mets management recouped 75 percent via insurance policies. It is unknown what agreement, if any, will take place regarding the remainder of Wright’s contract.