David Wright is not only one of the best Mets in franchise history, but one of the best third basemen in MLB history as well. Wright has had an illustrious career since making his Major League debut in 2004, but unfortunately his future is unknown due to a number of serious injuries. In 2015 Wright was diagnosed with Spinal Stenosis.
Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of the spaces within your spine, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine. It’s nothing to take lightly, as it’s ended a number of famous athlete’s careers quite prematurely (NFL’s David Wilson, WWE’s Edge and Paige to list a few.) ESPN, MLB, and some other sport outlets spoke to doctors and professionals about his injury. Dr. Andrew Hecht, chief of spine surgery at The Mount Sinai Hospital told ESPN back in 2015 that he believes many young athletes with those types of issues have a “good track record of improving with conservative care.” Dr. Hecht was not the one treating Wright, but he did say that very often, you can be treated conservatively with a good return to play.
Unfortunately for Wright, the Spinal Stenosis wasn’t the only setback for him. In 2016 he suffered a herniated disc in his neck and missed the remainder of the season. In 2017 Wright was looking to make his return but an injury to his right shoulder set him back once again. Wright would eventually undergo rotator cuff surgery on his right shoulder.
David hasn’t said much about the injuries until just a couple of days ago. Wright was hosting his annual Vegas Night that benefits the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Virginia. Wright said:
Wright said if the doctors tell him that continuing to play will cause long term damage to his quality of life, that’ll be the breaking point. Finishing the interview, he said:
Hearing Wright talk about his career possibly ending is a sad thing to hear. Especially when he’s been so optimistic about his ability to return and to play. But as I said before, Spinal stenosis is nothing to take lightly. Even if he had the surgery, there really is no telling how his back will hold up if/when he returns to the field. It’s a scary thing to think about. In one aspect, of course I want to see our Captain back on the field doing what he loves the most, but I also don’t want to see him hurt himself permanently for the love of the game. Wright has given the Mets everything he has to offer. He’s solidified himself as one of the greatest Mets in team history and possibly one of the best third basemen in MLB history as well.
Since debuting in 2004, Wright has become a 7x All-Star, a 2x Gold Glover, a 2x Silver Slugger, a member of the 30-30 club and one of only 4 Team Captains for the Mets. He holds the record for most RBIs, doubles, total bases, runs scored, walks, sac flies, times on base, extra base hits, strikeouts, double plays and hits in Mets franchise history. And if that wasn’t enough, he helped lead the team to the postseason in 2006 and 2015. He was able to hit his first World Series home run in front of the loyal New York fans.
If Wright’s career had to end tomorrow, he would have nothing to regret in terms of what he’s done on the field. His love for the game, the team and the fans shines through whenever he’s on the field. In my opinion, I think it’s time for David to hang it up. It’s something no one wants to see and no one wants to admit, but when the injuries continue to stack up, it’s time to do what’s best for himself and his family and that’s protect himself and his health. With a wife and a daughter (who’s middle name is a tribute to the old Shea stadium) to love and care for, I think it’s best for him to not risk hurting himself any more. But of course, if doctors say that he can continue to play without causing long-term damage to himself, then I suppose giving it another shot isn’t the worst thing. But I’d like to think that he’d want to go out as the memorable Team Captain and not a shell of his former self, which is what I fear he’d end up becoming. Wright’s a sure shot Hall of Famer and I’d like to see him retire on his own terms and not in the middle of the season because of further injuries.
Whatever happens, David Wright is and will always be the team’s captain, and OUR captain. He’s given us (the fans) so many memories and if he does have to call it quits, I hope he remains with the team in some capacity, he’d be a great mentor to the younger talent and the knowledge and advice he has to offer is priceless. Thank you for the memories thus far Captain, they’ve been enough to last a life time.
What do you think David Wright should do? Should he keep trying to get back on the field or is calling it quits the better thing to do? Let me know by leaving a comment or sending me a tweet @Keiths_Mustache !