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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Ambassador Wright

David Wright as Mets captain? Don’t be silly. David Wright’s not a captain. David Wright’s an ambassador.

David Wright puts the Mets’ best foot forward. David Wright makes everybody feel good about the Mets, including all those new Mets to whom he shows apartments, restaurants and the ropes.

David Wright represents the Mets in other places, even to other countries. Look what he did while wearing a USA uniform versus Italy and Canada. Whatever people in those strange lands thought of the Mets before (if they thought them about them at all), they’re thinking one thing above all now: That’s the team that has David Wright.

How bad could a team with David Wright be?

Where I went to college, there was and still is a special group of students called the Ambassadors. To be one of them, you have to be “committed, disciplined, strive for excellence and most of all, love to be a USF Bull.” No bull — that sure sounds like how David Wright handles his Met business.

If you were an Ambassador at USF, you got to drive VIPs around in a golf cart while you wore a green jacket. As the Ambassador of the New York Mets, David Wright can wear whatever he likes. He can wear an A for Ambassador, a C for Captain or a D for Diplomat, as no one phrases his statements more tactfully than Ambassador Wright. Or he can wear nothing at all, so to speak. Nothing but No. 5 in blue and orange.

The moment David Wright sees his first action of 2013 is the moment he makes a bit of history. Just by getting in the lineup on Opening Day (assuming the World Baseball Classic doesn’t do something stupid like injure him), David Wright becomes the first Met since John Franco to play in 10 or more seasons as a Met. Only 14 Mets have logged that many seasons or season-fragments in our colors. Hardly any of them made such good individual use of such extended tenure. In David Wright’s nine seasons, he’s taken over the bulk of the offensive portion of the franchise record book. He has a contract — let alone the ability — that will allow him to sign his name across the top of almost every category well before his pact runs out.

And you know it will run out before he ever does.

Conventionally thinking, that’s one of the reasons David Wright’s been talked up as captain. To me, it’s more ambassadorship material. He chose to remain a Met for the long term when that sort of relationship is rarely forged for anything beyond the mid term. Others of whom we’ve been fond in recent seasons (or whose accomplishments we greatly enjoyed) have been out of here in a few years…or a fewish years when compared to David Wright. Those were, when they were said and done, business relations. David Wright’s ties to the Mets are fastened by diplomatic relations. He’s the man on the inside, the man on the outside. I don’t know if he’s The Man as we frame the athletic ideal. I think he could use a few good men around him to make his diplomatic missions more worthwhile from win-column perspective.

Will he complain about it if he doesn’t get them? Does that sound like the actions of an ambassador to you?

David Wright is the embodiment of goodwill in a Mets uniform. Forget stitching him an extra letter and never mind the special jackets. At the very least let him park anywhere he wants. A solid decade as a Met in this era ought to be enough to earn anyone diplomatic immunity.

22 comments to Ambassador Wright

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    You’re absolutely right about Wright.

    And I think after his playing days are over, his number should be retired – a fitting tribute for with sentimental new breeders like myself, we can also imagine that to include another Met ambassador who played third – the Glider.

  • Kevin From Flushing

    Big Dave’s making us proud to Met fans in the WBC! I love it!

    • Joe D.

      Hi Kevin,

      I wanted to follow the WBC again this year but to be honest, haven’t seen anything more than one inning over the weekend. How have the crowds been?

      • Kevin From Flushing

        They seem to be larger than they were in 2009, though there is always a huge dropoff when teams of local interest aren’t playing. Cuba vs Netherlands doesn’t sell as much in Tokyo as Japan vs Chinese Taipei, for example. I don’t think any amount of hype will ever change that.

  • Chip Armonaitis

    Giving David Wright the Captaincy would be a mistake. He doesn’t need the appointment to be a/the leader of the Mets.

    The Captaincy should be given as a challenge to another Met cornerstone who wish to take more responsibility on a team. In hockey, often times Alternate Captains are given to a young upcoming star. Since baseball usually only names one captain, can’t do that.

    Maybe Reuben Tejada gets the assignment. Maybe Ike Davis. Maybe Daniel Murphy.

    And you communicate the reason to Wright, your choice and your team.

    Just my two cents.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    I say this not to embarrass either you or Jason, but with FAFIF you two are also great ambassadors for the orange and blue representing all that is good about Met fans.

  • open the gates

    Don’t want to hear about Captains. Or Ambassadors.

    This team had more than a mere Ambassador. They had a Franchise. And the Met Powers that Be ran him out of town.

    Twice.

  • Les

    OK, so I thought there was a good bit of trivia in that. Name the Mets who have played for at least parts of 10 seasons. You say 14 (not clear if that includes Wright). I can only come up with:
    Wright
    Kranepool
    Franco
    Seaver
    Harrelson
    Grote
    Cleon Jones
    Mazzilli
    Gooden
    Koosman
    Mookie
    and Ron Hodges (how’d HE get here?)

    That’s 12, Wright includes. Who else? (I show a bunch coming up a year short, including Hundley, Straw, Hojo)

    • With Wright, it’s 15: the guys you named plus Sid Fernandez (1984-1993), Craig Swan (1973-1984) and John Stearns (1975-1984).

    • Dave

      And take it a step further…how many of them wore no other uniform? Narrows down the list quite a bit; Krane, Ron How’d He Get Here Hodges, and Wright. Some of the others were something else before they were Mets (Franco, actually John Stearns), others wore another uniform, in some cases very briefly (I think Swan was an Angel for about an inning), and in some cases, in fact quite a few, it made us cringe to see them in non-Mets apparel. But far as I can tell, those 3 now stand alone as only-Mets for that long.

  • Les

    There they are. Stearns. underrated for what he gave some awful teams in the Torre years (which bring to mind the current edition in some ways; Torre teams frequently started well or made a push at some point only to have the non-sustainability over 162 game factor rear its head).

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Craig Swan…10 years??? Yikes, looking at the list, that has to be the least impactful 10 years in Mets History(ERA title nothwithstanding}.

    Back to Wright, I’ve been following his WBC exploits. Why do I get the uneasy feeling he has more juice wearing a USA uniform that he has wearing the Orange and Blue?

    • StorkFan

      Well, Swan debuted in 1973. I think it was only 3 games, but I wouldn’t exactly call that year non-impactful (if that’s a word).

  • Tom Rapsas

    Had to write after reading this post as I see you are an ex-USF Bull, as am I. What happened to the basketball team this year? And for that matter, the football team? (Good riddance, Skip Holtz.) As a sports fan, moving from USF to the Mets to the Jets each season has become a painful existence–but better things are hopefully a year away (at least for USF football and the Mets!).

    • Don’t know what became of our Bulls (Basketbulls or Footbulls). I read neither team won a road game in its most recent season. Sounds like they could use a dash of Truth and a pinch of Wisdom. Mostly they’re saddled with a ton of suck. But, yeah, maybe that’ll change.

      Here’s to better days!

  • [...] against the WBC discourage you. Don’t even blame the WBC for David Wright’s rib maladies. Like the Ambassador couldn’t have slept wrong in St. Lucie? Like a Met doesn’t get hurt just looking the wrong way [...]

  • [...] to the wisdom the Mets unfirable corps of coaches dispenses, assuming they dispense wisdom. Maybe the Ambassador, in his role as Captain, has given him numerous talkings-to that just won’t take. It’s also [...]