Last night we watched David Wright take his final at bat ending a pretty impressive career. Growing up a New York Mets fan, this is certainly a sad moment for me, but I can’t help but reflect back on our history with our captain. Now I can read back a bunch of his stats or talk about how he is just an all around good guy, but to be honest, I don’t really care about all that. The only thing that really stands out for me is the time I met him in person.
Flash back to ten years ago. I’m a young stud senior in high school on a date with my then girlfriend at ESPN Zone Times Square. I’m pretty sure it was a week night because the joint was pretty empty. I was able to play almost any machine and lets face it, the gf was super impressed with my gaming skills. Then in walks three dudes followed by two girls holding their coats. One of the guys walks up to NCAA hoops game and starts sinking every shot he took. I thought I was in charge of this place, but it was clear I had some competition.
I didn’t know who this mystery fella was but he was killin it. I look closer, and it is none other than the third baseman for my New York Mets. Holy crap it’s freakin David Wright. I have his jersey in both classic white with blue pinstripe and spring training black. I’m fan girling so hard right now. I’m freakin the F out, but I play it cool.
My then girlfriend is speaking to me. I don’t know what she’s saying exactly but I know she’s in my way. I mumble “thas david wright”, she says “what?” I don’t have time to explain, so I push her out of my way into one of those racing machines, possibly a trash can, it’s in the rearview now so I can’t be totally sure. She might have said “ow” but I couldn’t’ clearly hear because I was already half way to the NCAA hoops game. I walk up just as David finishes his round. Not sure what he scored but I’m sure he killed it. We all clapped and cheered for another astounding performance from the young third baseman. Ok not sure if everyone else was clapping but I did. As he is leaving I maintain my composure and say “Mr. Wright it is an honor to meet you”
He shakes my hand and says “Thank you”
I shake his hand back and say “Thank you”
No, that’s not a typo. I thanked him for thanking me. And why shouldn’t I? He’s our freakin captain.
He puts his hand out to shake someone else’s hand. I turn to see it’s my girlfriend’s. She was a little bloodied up from the fall but she made it back. I’m proud of her, but I don’t say it. I give her a little smirk and a head nod as if to say, “way to hustle old sport”.
After he shook our hands, he took his coat from the two fan girls and left.
I didn’t get a picture or autograph that day because let’s face it, I blink in every picture and I had nothing for him to sign. I could have had him sign my girlfriend’s forehead or something but then I’d have to keep her forever and I just wasn’t ready for that type of commitment at the time.
Anyway, this was closer to the start of his career and I won’t say that meeting me had any impact on the success of his career, but it is certainly an interaction I’ll always remember. Thanks for a great career Cap. Enjoy Retirement.