Before David Wright announced he would return and start one last game in his Mets career, on Sept. 29, he found Jose Reyes in the clubhouse Thursday and shared the plan.
“We were both crying, it was a tough moment,” Reyes said after the Mets completed a doubleheader sweep of the Marlins at Citi Field. “I didn’t know what to say in the moment. I just said, ‘I love you, bro, so enjoy your family.’ I didn’t have too many words to say.”
For that final Wright appearance at third base, manager Mickey Callaway indicated he is open to the idea of playing Reyes at shortstop, allowing the longtime teammates one last hurrah together.
Reyes returned to the Mets in July 2016, but hasn’t played in a regular-season game with Wright, who has been sidelined for the last two-plus years.
“That, for sure, will be one of the highlights of my career if that happens,” Reyes said, when asked about possibly playing alongside Wright one last time.
As somebody who grew up on Long Island watching Wright star for the Mets before becoming his teammate, Steven Matz has a unique perspective.
“Some of these guys from the West Coast, the new guys coming up, I don’t know if they got the opportunity to see how good of a player he was,” Matz said.
“The guy was unbelievable. Not only that, but his character is really something that is going to be left behind here.”
Several of Wright’s teammates trickled into the press conference room for Wright’s announcement before Game 1 of the doubleheader. Matz, as the starting pitcher, wasn’t present, but attended in spirit.
“It was a lot of emotions,” Matz said. “Growing up in the area I got to see David when he first came up [in 2004]. I just remember all the great things hearing about him and coming up here with him and him being up there, everything is in character.”
Even on the disabled list, Wright made an impression on younger players such as Matz, whose major league debut with the Mets came in June 2015, as the team was preparing for a NL pennant run.
“He is really leaving a legacy in this organization,” Matz said. “If we are ever arguing anything [in the clubhouse] it’s ‘Let’s ask David.’ That is the type of guy he is. His opinion is so valued. His character is so valued here and I can tell my grandkids that I started Game 4 of the World Series with David Wright at third base. That is something I am definitely going to carry with me with my grandkids.”