(Sunday Paper, Volume III, Issue 38)
Last weekend I went to Fenway Park for two of the three games the Mets played at Fenway Park.
I won’t get into how it happened in this post, but as illustrated by the picture to the left, on Saturday I was lucky enough to spend an inning sitting right next to the Mets dugout.
It was very exciting…and a little overwhelming.
I didn’t know where to look, what to take in, whether I should take pictures or just try to sear the images into my real-life memory.
One moment stood out - I made eye contact with David Wright.
I think it caught his eye that there was someone wearing Mets gear sitting right there in the first row…and there was a split-second I thought “What do I do?”
And then Wright ducked down into the tunnel to the clubhouse and the moment passed and I was left wondering what I would say to Wright if I had the chance.
A little more than a week ago David Wright announced he would start one last game at third base for the Mets, the only team he’s played for in his Major League career.
It’s a sad thing, because the end came too soon for Wright - he’s been sidelined with neck, back, and shoulder injuries over the past few years and they’ve cut his career shorter than it should have been.
And it really represents the end of an era for me.
In my baseball life I’ve really had just two favorite players - Gary Carter and David Wright. There was a big void after Carter when I’d have a favorite player for a season or two, but Gary Carter was my all-time favorite player, and then there was no one for a time….until Wright came along.
Now I’m too old to have a favorite player that way again. I’m 40 (you may remember I turned 40 this summer) and almost everyone playing sports is younger than me.
But when David Wright entered the league at age 21, I was just 26 - an acceptable favorite player age gap, in my opinion. Writing my sports blog back then, I chronicled his time at the Mets’ AAA affiliate - the Norfolk Tides - and when he was called up it was one of my most exciting times as a Mets fan.
Like Gary Carter, David Wright never disappointed as a person….and he rarely disappointed as a player. And I watched him from day one.
It was easy to prepare for the beginning of his career - everything started at 0 and you could watch as he climbed the Mets’ all-time leaderboards. You hoped he’d be that rare kind of player that stuck around for a couple of decades…and he was that guy. But it didn’t last as long as it should have.
And that’s why preparing for the end has been hard. Because it came so suddenly.
I didn’t know the last time that I saw him play in person would be the last time I ever saw him play in person. I don’t know that we’ll ever experience another Mets lifer.
So what would I have said to him if I’d opened my mouth when we made brief eye contact last weekend?
Probably what so many Mets fans have been telling him these past couple of weeks: Thanks for everything, David.
Kathy and I went out to eat the Thursday Wright made his announcement. It was the week before all the fall activities were starting and we were going to be crazy busy for the next few weeks and we took a moment to catch up before we next go out probably in May or June.
My biggest news to report was about David Wright that day.
I surprised myself by getting choked up, there in the middle of the restaurant - I couldn’t finish the sentence, telling Kathy about Wright’s announcement.
I’m sure I’ll get choked up one more time next Saturday night, watching him make his last start as a Met.
I’ll be watching on TV, but if you have an extra ticket I’ll make the drive down.
I’m not ashamed to cry at Citi Field.
*I’ve had to sprinkle in some yard work this week…this is quite possibly my biggest balance issue with working from home. No…just working in general. I’ve always had this struggle. Between work, exercise, and stuff that needs to get done around the house, I can’t ever figure out a good balance between these things. Two of the three can usually make the cut but I can never figure out a way to do all three consistently. So I was able to squeeze in some writing, but yard work dominated the hours…and just might for the rest of the fall. It’s so weather-dependent, if it’s not raining I have to be out there getting stuff done. Exercise has definitely slipped down the charts.
*When we last talked I was stumbling back into performing after taking August off by forgetting the words on stage. I’m pleased to report that things have gone a lot better since then - a couple of shows, a couple of open mics, and I’ve been getting out to the new Comedy Studio in Bow Market. Nothing scheduled this week but I’ll definitely be out and about Wednesday and Thursday. The link at the top of the page has the October performances so far…and I’ll keep updating as we fast approach the end of 2018. (!)
What I Recommend
*I can’t believe I’ve only just thought to write about this: I really enjoy George Ezra’s music. You might know his song ‘Budapest.’ Maybe you know ‘Blame It On Me.’ His more recent song getting radio play was ‘Paradise.’ And now there’s ‘Shotgun,’ which is great too. I’ll put that video below, just for fun. But I was sitting here thinking how many of his songs I liked and realizing I should see if he’s ever performing around here…and apparently he was just in Boston. Like this week he was here and I missed him. Oh well. Bad timing I guess. I’ll try to catch him next time.
*Did you read last week’s guest post from Gina Sampaio? Click on through and check it out if you didn’t yet…and then go follow her work on social media.
*Also, it was through George Ezra’s Twitter feed that I saw (too late) that he had been in Boston on Thursday. He seems like fun. Take a peek around there.
*One more fun Twitter follow…and Red Sox game happening: When I went to the game with Kathy on Sunday I tweeted the Red Sox organist a request, and he played it. It was very exciting. The organist, Josh Kantor, is a fun follow on Twitter whether you’re requesting songs or not. It’s fun to see what others request or what he’s up to in his musical spare time.
*It was cool to see so many Mets fans at Fenway last week - it was a good representation and it seemed like everyone behaved themselves, which was nice to see. It was also cool to see the Mets fans on Twitter who ran into different Mets players on the streets of Boston. The Mets hadn’t been to Boston since 2009…I might have considered hanging around downtown then to run into some Mets, but this time it didn't even cross my mind. Bummer.
*Jacob deGrom is one of those in-between type of favorite players who helped bridge that gap between Gary Carter and David Wright. In other words, I’d never consider him my favorite Met for some reason, but he’s a lot of fun to watch, like R.A. Dickey was in 2012 when he won the Cy Young Award. deGrom is likely this year’s winner, and it’s been a treat to watch him pitch this year.
*Who are some other bridge favorites, you ask? In the Mike Piazza years I was always pretty partial to Edgardo Alfonzo. I liked Todd Hundley but I think for a while I just wanted to see another catcher capture my heart like Carter did. I had a lot of workmanlike favorites like Rico Brogna. It’s hard being a Mets fan.
*I’d love to read your David Wright stories/memories if you have some to share - put them in the comments below or on the Facebook page. Thanks!
*What’s that? Did the Jets play Thursday? Man I don’t even remember. OK, gotta go!