If we all agree on the not-such-a-stretch principle that David Wright is the best regular player ever produced by the Mets…make that if we all agree on the not-such-a-stretch principle that no regular player produced by the Mets has ever come as far as fast as David Wright has, then I won’t feel I’m rushing things to reveal a revelation I had last night.
David Wright’s third season in the Majors is 2006.
Tom Seaver’s third season in the Majors was 1969.
There was no doubt by 1969 that Tom Seaver was the best pitcher ever produced by the Mets. In fact, there was no doubt by 1967 that Tom Seaver was the best pitcher ever produced by the Mets.
After two very good seasons in 1967 and 1968, Tom Seaver emerged as the best pitcher in the National League in 1969 with a season for the ages.
After two very good seasons in 2004 (half-season, actually) and 2005, David Wright is emerging as the best player in the National League in 2006 with what appears to be a season for the ages.
At this stage of 1969, after the Mets had played 73 games, Tom Seaver was 12-3 with a 2.57 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 133.1 innings. With his most recent win, he had taken over the all-time franchise lead from Al Jackson for victories among pitchers with 44. He’s held it ever since.
At this stage of 2006, with the Mets having played 73 games, David Wright is batting .337 with 18 home runs and 63 RBI in 285 at-bats. After his three-run homer off Casey Janssen of the Blue Jays Friday night, he moved into a 35th-place tie for most runs batted in by a Met (205) and is in sole possession of 25th place on the team home run chart (59).
Tom Seaver won the 1969 National League Cy Young Award and placed second in the Most Valuable Player voting as a pitcher.
David Wright can’t win the Cy Young Award as a third baseman, but he does hear unrelenting chants of “MVP!” at home, and having watched him turn Rogers Centre into yet another House of David, they don’t seem terribly exaggerated.
Tom Seaver would be a star among stars for a generation, win 311 games in his career and enter the Hall of Fame on the first ballot via the greatest percentage of ballots cast of any player ever.
David Wright’s only in his third year, his second full one…y’know?
The Mets won the World Series in 1969.
The Mets have an eleven-game lead in the National League East as we speak in 2006. There’s no accounting for what will happen the rest of the way, so I leave it to you to draw your own conclusions, make your own projections and dream your own dreams of what might be.
(Feel good, Duaner — we need you. And stay strong, Cliff — we miss you.)