David Wright is having a really good time.
The long-time New York Mets third baseman is playing for his first-ever World Series title as the squad takes on the Kansas City Royals in the fall classic this year. It’s a moment more than a decade-in-the-making for Wright, who has been with the organization since 2001, going through all the ups-and-downs that the squad in Queens has endured.
Wright is, without a doubt, the face of the franchise and he’s more than determined to also be the face of a championship run this fall. After all, this is why he’s stayed with the team for so long.
“Part of it for me was the loyalty,” Wright told Newsday. “I had faith.”
Here’s what you need to know about Wright, his journey with New York and his life away from the diamond:
1. Wright Grew Up in Virginia & Was Drafted By the Mets in 2001
The oldest of four sons, Wright was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia and was named the 2001 Gatorade Virginia High School Player of the Year. Over his four year career at Hickory High School, Wright hit .438 with 13 home runs and 90 RBIs.
He planned to attend Georgia Tech, looking to major in engineering out of high school, but was selected by the New York Mets in the 2001 MLB Draft and opted out of his college eligibility.
Wright performed well during his first few seasons in the minors, winning the Sterling award for best player on the class-A St. Lucie Mets in 2003. In 2004, he quickly rose through the ranks, moving up from Double-A Binghamton Mets, to the Triple-ANorfolk Tides, to the major leagues.
2. He Was Named Team Captain in 2013 & Is Known as ‘Captain America’
Think of the New York Mets. Then think of the recent New York Mets without David Wright. You can’t. Because David Wright and the New York Mets, over the last decade and a half, have become almost synonymous.
In 2013, Wright was named the team’s fourth captain, joining the likes of Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter and John Franco. He said at the time:
This is probably one of the proudest days of my career so far. To be viewed in this light – by ownership, by Sandy and the front office, the coaching staff, and most importantly by the players – means a great deal to me. I’m honored and proud to be on the short list of guys of who have been captain in our history. It’s a dream come true, to say the least, and something I am very, very proud of.
Despite the honor, Wright said he wouldn’t wear a stitched “C” on his jersey, explaining, “A uniform is a uniform for a reason … Everyone is in agreement we will do without it.”
It’s just another notch in the Metsdom that has become Wright’s legacy in New York. Despite lingering injuries that have hampered him in the later portion of his career, Wright has found a way to embrace it all.
This is always where Wright has wanted to be.
3. Wright Holds Twelve Mets Franchise Records
Wright’s career in orange and blue has been nothing short of prolific. He currently holds 12 different Met franchise records ranging from career RBI leader, carrer runs scored leader to career hits leader and career total bases leader.
He is also a seven-tie All-Star, two-time Gold Glove Award winner, two-time Silver Slugger Award winner and a member of the 30-30 club.
It’s a performance that made it easy for the Mets to offer Wright a substantial contract extension in December, 2012. The third baseman signed an eight-year, $138 million deal that year, keeping him in New York through 2020. Wright released a statement at the time:
I’ve grown up in this organization and made lifelong friendships with teammates, uniform personnel and front-office staff. I’m grateful for the opportunity to finish what I’ve started and help bring the Mets and our fans a World Series title.
Now, it’s time to live up to that World Series promise.
4. He & Molly Beers Have Been Married Since December 2013
After dating for several years, Wright and model Molly Beers announced they were engaged in January 2013. The pair were married in La Jolla, California on December 26, 2013.
The pair first met whle Wright was playing in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Beers signed with Ford models early in her career and has appeared in JCPenny advertisements. She was also on hand when Wright signed his 8-year, $138 million contract extension in 2012.
5. Wright Founded the David Wright Foundation in 2005
Wright founded his own charitable organization, the David Wright Foundation, in 2005, with a mission to increase awareness about multiple sclerosis. The Foundation raises money for MS organizations, research and projects throughout the year with a handful of events, including an annual gala.
The Foundation focuses most of its efforts in the New York City and Norfolk, Virginia areas, distributing to funds to beneficiaries like the Gimbel Multiple Sclerois Comprehensive Care Center, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York and the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.
The sixth annual Vegas Night, the Foundation’s biggest fundraising effort, will be held on January 22, 2016. The event will benefit the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.