In a brand new series here on FROM VA TO THE SHOW, I’m going to introduce my collection of baseball memorabilia of ball players from our state.
David Wright (Chesapeake) rose from Hampton Roads to put together a stellar career with the NY Mets. Before he hit the Big Apple, he played for about 3 weeks with the Norfolk Tides in the summer of 2004. Yes, the same Tides that he grew up watching.
On this day, Sunday December 20, the 33rd birthday of Mets star 3B David Wright (Chesapeake), this interesting article from mlb.com, a photo retrospective of his career.
He rose from the Hampton Roads region of Virginia and put together a solid major league career, spanning 15 years, with the Twins, Rockies, and Mets. He was a batting champion and a Silver Slugger. He had numerous other individual accomplishments that very few major leaguers have ever done. He got to play for one season with childhood friend David Wright (Chesapeake).
Michael Cuddyer (Chesapeake) has announced his retirement from baseball, walking away from the last season of his 2-yr contract with the Mets.
Back from a hiatus, and now we continue this look at picking an all-time Team Virginia, a roster of players, past and present, who have come from our state.
This installment, we name one of the 3 starting outfielders.
The first spot will go to Chesapeake-native Michael Cuddyer.
Cuddyer, the second active MLer to make the team, has been in the major leagues now for 15 seasons. He spent the first 11 seasons of his career with the Minnesota Twins, and had an impressive resume. Over the course of his career playing in the Twin Cities, he batted .242 with 141 HRs and 580 RBIs. He also had some flashes of brilliance on defense, leading all AL RFs in assists-twice-and finishing among the league leaders in other key defensive categories.
On May 22, 2009, Cuddyer hit for the cycle in a game against the Brewers. Just 3 months later, on August 23, he hit 2 HRs in the 7th inning of a game against the Royals, becoming the 53rd player ever to accomplish that feat.
Cuddyer left Minnesota after the 2011 season (his first all-star game), and signed on with the Colorado Rockies. While it could have been the climate in Denver, it takes nothing away from the great run he had over 3 seasons playing in the Mile High City. he hit .307 with 46 HRs and 173 RBIs. Arguable his best season of his career came in 2013. Cuddyer was named to his 2nd all-star game, took home the NL batting title (.331) and was named a Silver Slugger. Contributing to his batting crown was a club-record 27-game hitting streak.
On August 27, 2014, Cuddyer hit for the cycle again, the 30th player ever to do so twice and third to do it in both leagues.
Cuddyer left Colorado after 2014 and came closer to home, signing a 2-yr deal with the Mets, jumping at the chance to try and help a rising Mets team win a title and play with fellow Hampton Roads native David Wright.
His debut season was marred by injuries, and he looks to bounce back in 2016 and help bring a title to Queens.
In this latest installment, where I name an all-time TEAM VA, we turn to the hot corner. There is no debate here on who should man third base on the all-Virginia team. The clear choice here is Mets all star David Wright (Chesapeake).
Wright currently plays for the New York Mets, for whom he made his major league debut in the summer of 2004. (This was after spending three weeks playing for his hometown Norfolk Tides at AAA.)
Since debuting with the Mets, Wright has, basically, re-written the Mets record books. He is the team’s all-time leader in most offensive categories, including RBIs, runs, hits, and extra base hits, as well as sacrifice flies. He is a 7-time all-star and won Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards in 2007 and 2008. In 2013, he was named the 4th Team Captain in Mets history, and in 2015, he was named to the Mets Franchise Four.
For his career, David Wright is batting .298 with 235 HR and 956 RBIs.
SN article analyzes Cooperstown chances of Mets slugger David Wright (Chesapeake). Not great.
Interesting article about Mets franchise player David Wright (Chesapeake).