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baseball play

David Wright (baseball)

David Allen Wright (born December 20, 1982 in Norfolk, Virginia) is a Major League Baseball third baseman who plays for the New York Mets.

Biography

David Wright was brought up in Chesapeake, Virginia. Wright attended Hickory High School in Chesapeake, Virginia. There, he was a three-time All-State selection and, as a senior, was named the Virginia Player of the Year. He also played on an Amateur Athletic Union team that included current Major League Baseball players Ryan Zimmerman, B. J. Upton and Justin Upton . Although Wright had signed a letter of intent before his senior year to play baseball at Georgia Tech after high school, he opted to sign with the Mets after being selected in the supplemental first round of the draft.

Professional career

Wright is noted for his unaffected politeness and work ethic. He has been known to help participate with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. He has developed a reputation for arriving very early to the park for games and being uncommonly accommodating with fans and reporters.

Minor leagues

Wright was chosen by the Mets in the 2001 amateur draft during the supplemental round as compensation for the Mets' loss of Mike Hampton to the Colorado Rockies in free agency. Wright was selected after current teammate Aaron Heilman who had been selected in the first round. Wright progressed steadily in his first three years of minor league play, winning the Sterling award for best player on the class A St. Lucie Mets in 2003. In 2004, he quickly rose from the class AA Binghamton Mets, to the AAA Norfolk Tides, to the major leagues.

Major leagues

2004

On July 21, 2004, he made his major league debut starting at third base against the Montreal Expos. Since then, Wright has been the Mets regular starting third baseman.

During his first major league season, he had a .293 batting average, 14 home runs and 40 RBI in 263 at bats in 69 games, and was voted as the This Year in Baseball Awards Rookie of the Year. Wright was coached by hitting instructor Kyle Simon and teammate Scott Phillips.

2005

In 2005, the 22-year-old Wright played in 160 games and batted .306 with 27 home runs, 99 runs, 102 RBI, 42 doubles, and 17 stolen bases, leading the team in average, runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, RBI, doubles, and finishing second in home runs to Cliff Floyd (34). Wright was also in the top ten in the National League for average, hits, total bases, RBI, extra base hits, and runs. Wright's 24 errors tied him with Troy Glaus for the most errors by a third baseman in the major leagues.

Wright caught a ball bare-handed and over the shoulder during the seventh inning of a game at PETCO Park against the San Diego Padres on August 9, 2005. With one out in the inning, Brian Giles hit a blooper 20 feet beyond the edge of the outfield grass. Wright, retreating quickly with his back to home plate, extended his bare right hand and caught the ball cleanly while crashing to the ground. Wright would maintain control of the ball after landing hard on the outfield grass. The sellout crowd at PETCO Park acknowledged the splendor of the catch with a standing ovation lasting several minutes. This play was voted the "This Year in Baseball Play of the Year."

2006

In 2006, Wright was named National League Co-Player of the Week for June 12-18 along with teammate Jose Reyes. It was Wright's second Player of the Week award. He was also named National League Player of the Month for June, becoming the first Met since Howard Johnson in 1991 to capture the award. For the month, Wright batted .327 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI.

Wright also provided his share of heroics throughout the 2006 season. His first game-winning hit occurred on May 5 with a 2-out double just out of the reach of a chasing Andruw Jones in the bottom of the 14th inning off Jorge Sosa to defeat the Atlanta Braves, 8-7. Two weeks later on May 19, he hit a walk-off single off vaunted closer Mariano Rivera that just sailed over the head of center fielder Johnny Damon as the Mets rallied to beat the Yankees in the first game of the 2006 Subway Series, 7-6. He capped off the month on Memorial Day, May 29, with a single to the wall in left-center field off Arizona Diamondbacks closer Jose Valverde scoring Jose Reyes all the way from first base as the Mets defeated Arizona, 8-7. Wright also made a game-saving stop at 3rd base of a would-be game-tying single by Mike Lieberthal for the final out of a 4-3 Mets victory over Philadelphia on August 5.

Wright was voted on to his first MLB All-Star Game as the starting third baseman for the NL. During the 2006 season, Wright collected 74 RBI before the All-Star Break, breaking the Mets record previously held by Mike Piazza, who had 72 RBI in 2000. Wright also participated in the 2006 Home Run Derby, reaching the final round but finishing second to Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies. He hit 22 home runs in the contest, including 16 in the first round, the third highest total in any one round in the history of the Home Run Derby. The following night, he hit a home run in his first All-Star Game at-bat off American League starting pitcher Kenny Rogers. Wright's homer was nearly the difference in the game as the National League led 2-1 for most of the night before closer Trevor Hoffman blew the save in the top of the ninth inning. The NL lost, 3-2.

Wright ranked among the club's top three hitters in all offensive categories for the 2006 Mets, who were the second most run-scoring team in the National League. Fans at Shea Stadium have routinely greeted Wright's performances with chants of "M-V-P, M-V-P." According to then teammate Tom Glavine, "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."

On August 6, 2006, Wright signed a 6-year contract extension with the Mets worth $55 million, as well as a $1.5 million signing bonus. The contract will pay him $1 million in 2007, $5 million in 2008, $7.5 million in 2009, $10 million in 2010, $14 million in 2011, and $15 million in 2012. The contract also contains a club option for 2013 which is worth $16 million. Wright has already announced that he will donate $1.5 million to the Mets Foundation throughout the course of this contract.

The Mets captured the NL East title in 2006 and returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2000. Wright struggled in his first postseason, going 4-25 (.160) in the Mets' NLCS loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, and batting a mere .216 in 10 postseason games.

Wright participated in the 2006 Major League Baseball Japan All-Star Series along with fellow teammates José Reyes, Julio Franco, and John Maine.

2007

As of April 19, 2007, Wright had a hit streak of 26 regular season games; the previous team record was 24, held by Mike Piazza and Hubie Brooks. He had a hit in the 12 final regular season games of the 2006 season, and had a hit in all of the first 14 games of the 2007 season. Wright's hit streak of 26 regular season games ended on April 21, 2007 against the Atlanta Braves at Shea Stadium. Wright went 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts and walked once.

30-30 Club. On September 16, 2007, Wright became the 29th and one of the youngest players in baseball history to join the 30-30 club, after hitting a 7th inning solo home run against the Philadelphia Phillies at Shea Stadium. He is only the third player to reach this milestone before his 25th birthday, and only the third Met to reach this milestone in club history, the other two being Howard Johnson and Darryl Strawberry.

Awards. Wright was awarded the 2007 Gold Glove and the Silver Slugger Award at third base. He also was fourth in the NL MVP voting receiving 182 votes.

2008

Wright began the year with two doubles, including a bases-clearing double, in finishing 2-4 with 3 RBIs in the Mets' Opening Day victory over the Marlins, 7-2. With the RBIs, Wright already halfway matched his RBI production from last April. In the final game of the series, David went 3-5 with a 3-run home run. On April 13, David Wright hit his 100th career home run, a solo shot off of Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jeff Suppan. On April 15th in a game against the Washington Nationals, Wright had 5 RBIs and went 3-3. As of July 27, 2008, David Wright has 20 homers and 82 RBIS. He is tied for 2nd in the NL with RBI.

On August 7, 2008, Wright hit the first walk-off home run of his career, which includes the minor leagues and high school.

On August 21, 2008, David went 3 for 4 with a home run, 3 runs scored, a double, a walk, and also scored the game winning run in the bottom of the ninth at Shea Stadium in a Mets 5 to 4 victory over the rival Atlanta Braves.

Personal

David has maintained homes on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and in Manalapan, New Jersey, wherein he owns a Boxer named Homer. Clubhouse nicknames include "Visine" and "Hollywood"

His brother Stephen was enrolled at Virginia Tech in 2007, and attended classes in Norris Hall, the scene of the majority of shootings in the Virginia Tech Massacre. He could not get ahold of Stephen that day and did not find out he was all right until his other brother Matthew, a freshman at James Madison University, called and informed him of Stephen's whereabouts.

David Wright Foundation

In 2005, Wright began his own charitable organization, the David Wright Foundation Its mission is to increase awareness about multiple sclerosis and to raise money for multiple sclerosis organizations and projects. The Foundation hosted its first annual gala at the New York Stock Exchange Members' Club on December 16, 2005, donating the proceeds to two multiple sclerosis centers.

In May 2007, Vitamin Water was sold to the Coca-Cola Corporation for 4.1 billion dollars. As part of his endorsement deal, Wright was given 0.5% of the company, and thus netted approximately 20 million dollars from the deal.

Media and Cultural appearances

Delta Air Lines named an MD-88 airplane "The David Wright Flight" after Wright. The plane's name, along with Wright's signature and jersey number (5), are next to the boarding door. The plane shuttles between New York, Boston and Washington.

Wright is featured on the cover of MLB 07: The Show, as well as follow-on TV commercial advertising for the game on the Playstation 3 game console. He has also appeared in a television commercial for Fathead, promoting the company's wall graphics.

In 2006, David appeared on MTV's Total Request Live with former teammate Cliff Floyd. He also made an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman on July 12, 2006. That same day he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated along with Mets teammates Carlos Beltran, Paul Lo Duca, Carlos Delgado, and Jose Reyes.

On October 31, 2007, David appeared as a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

On January 3, 2008 David appeared on Celebrity Apprentice to purchase hot dogs for charity

On April 14, 2008, David made a second visit to the Late Show with David Letterman.

Statistics

Year Age Team Lg G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB SH SF IBB HBP GDP
2004 21 New York NL

69 263 41 77 17 1 14 40 6 0 14 40 .293 .332 .525 .857 138 0 3 0 3 7
2005 22 New York NL

160 575 99 176 42 1 27 102 17 7 72 113 .306 .388 .523 .911 301 0 3 2 7 16
2006 23 New York NL

154 582 96 181 40 5 26 116 20 5 66 113 .311 .381 .531 .912 309 0 8 13 5 15
2007 24 New York NL

160 604 113 196 42 1 30 107 34 5 94 115 .325 .416 .546 .962 330 0 7 6 6 14
2008 25 New York NL

160 626 115 189 42 2 33 124 15 5 94 118 .302 .390 .534 .924 334 0 11 5 4 15
Totals:

703 2,650 464 819 183 10 130 489 92 22 340 499 .309 .389 .533 .920 1,412 0 32 26 25 67

See also

References

External links

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