(This is an ongoing series where we look back at some memorable moments of the 2015 season involving Virginia ballplayers.)
The New York Mets expected to be competitive when the 2015 season dawned. They had a young squad that many thought could, maybe, make some noise for a Wild Card. Their hopes for such an outcome appeared to be dashed about two weeks into the season when team captain 3B David Wright (Chesapeake) went down with a hamstring injury. Playoff hopes appeared to be further dashed when Wright was later diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a condition that involves narrowing of the spine, something that ended the career of Mets great Lenny Dykstra. Many thought the same fate would befall the Mets franchise slugger.
The Mets pressed on, as many of the team’s other sluggers picked up the slack in Wright’s absence. Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores, and trade acquisition Yoenis Cespedes all helped keep the Mets in the thick of the playoff race. In fact, they would eventually overtake the heavily-favored Washington Nationals and sit in first place when August 24 rolled around.
The Mets were in Philadelphia, sporting a 67-56 record. With roughly six weeks to go in the season, the Mets had slid into first place, and were about to get a major boost for the stretch run-DAVID WRIGHT RETURNING! The Mets announced that their star player would be activated from the DL, just in time for the final push for the postseason. As a number of other sluggers were filling in nicely on offense for the Mets, they were not expecting Wright to be the star slugger he was. Just his presence on the team would hopefully be a morale boost to the Mets clubhouse, the team reasoned.
Someone apparently forgot to give Captain America that memo.
Wright crushed one of the Mets’ team-record 7 HR and scored 3 runs himself as the Mets crushed their division rival Phillies by a score of 16-7.
Wright finished the season batting .289 with an OB% of .389, and the Mets won the NL East division title by a margin of 7 games over Washington.