Deservedly so, the Mets will bestow every honor they can think of on David Wright as the years go on. But will he be elected to the HOF in 2024?
Soon, the Mets will be preparing for a celebration at Citi Field announcing the retirement of Number 5, the uniform worn by David Wright. To follow, there may well be a statue built alongside the one honoring another Mets icon, Tom Seaver.
But it would seem that the ultimate goal of any major league player, even beyond amassing a pile of World Series Championship rings, is to make it into baseball’s shrine – the Hall Of Fame (HOF).
Mets fans know the odds
We know from history and experience election to the HOF seems and sometimes is haphazard and filled with inconsistencies.
This player is in, but that one isn’t has been a conversation talked about in the media and across barstools across America for decades.
A check on Wright’s numbers reveals he never led the league in anything unless you want to count sacrifice flies, which he did twice. He never even came close to 3,000 hits (1,777), and he was even further away from the glorified mark of 500 home runs (242).
So why are we even talking about David Wright as a candidate for the Hall of Fame?
Drill down, and ye shall find…
Well, you have to drill deeper and certainly beyond the numbers.
Do that, and you’ll discover that Wright finished in the Top Ten of the MVP voting four times, and he was an All-Star seven times.
Plus, he was selected as the Captain of the New York Mets, an honor a team rarely bestows on a player these days.
So, we’re talking more about the intangibles here – and not the analytics and numbers typically considered when evaluating the career of a player in contention for a plaque in Cooperstown.
Many will disagree, sticking to the traditional means of “measurement,” which says – show me the numbers.
The Hall Of Fame has many entry points. There is room for scoundrels like Ty Cobb, a place for those who never even played the game like Marvin Miller, and eventually the likes of drug-tainted superstars who have all the numbers like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
With David Wright, one must consider the whole of the matter. And more significantly, the fact that his career was cut down in the prime of his career at the age of 31 to a debilitating disease no athlete had a chance to recover from, foretelling the end of his career.
David Wright – Let the debate begin
While it’s premature to start the discussion, it should start now. Lest David Wright suffers the same fate as Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson, and Tommy John – all of whom still sit waiting from the Modern Baseball Era Committee.
In the same way that Lou Whitaker impacted the team he played for and the city of Detroit in a positive manner – and for the same reasons he belongs in the Hall Of Fame – David Wright deserves the same.
Let the debate begin now, not in the fall of 2024, when the Baseball Writers of America (BWAA) get ready to fill out their ballots.