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Fracturing his back and losing two months of the 2011 season turned out to be a blessing in disguise for David Wright.
The New York Mets’ star third baseman spent a lot of last summer watching videos and dissecting his play so he could “figure out what I needed to do.” Mission accomplished. Wright has been flirting with a league-leading .400 batting average for weeks now and is the engine behind the team’s surprising 28-23 start.
This story first appeared in the June 4, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We may have surprised a lot of outsiders, but we didn’t surprise ourselves,” Wright says of the Mets’ performance, before making an appearance at Macy’s Thursday night on behalf of Woolmark. “That was our rallying cry during spring training, when expectations were so low. We knew what kind of team we had and the kind of baseball we were capable of playing.”
Even so, Wright was humble about his red-hot performance. “I’ve just been fortunate to get off to a good start,” he says. “That’s everybody’s goal — you don’t want to dig a hole you just can’t get out of.” And he believes he can maintain the pace through the remainder of the season. “I hope so, why not?” he says. “I know there will be a time when I slump a little — like now, I’m having a little tougher time — but the key is to see how quickly I can get out of it. I need to become better at that.”
The 29-year-old slugger said that while recuperating from the stress fracture last summer, it was the first time he hadn’t be able to play in his life. “For years, I’ve played baseball in the summer, that’s the norm for me.” Although he felt “out of whack,” the forced time off allowed him to “get away and re-evaluate what I was doing on the field and watch the game from another perspective.”
Wright is also excited about the Mets hosting the All-Star Game in 2013. “I got a chance to participate when it was in the Bronx,” he says. “New York deserves to have the All-Star Game here regularly. The fans are so knowledgeable and New York is the greatest stage for baseball. And it’ll be great to show our new stadium off to the world.”
Wright, who wore jeans and an untucked sport shirt to his appearance at the store, was keen about adding a couple of Tallia Orange sport coats to his wardrobe as a bonus for posing for photos with fans. “I’m from the Virginia Beach area, so shorts, flip-flops and T-shirts are what I usually wear,” he says. “I like to dress comfortably, that’s my upbringing. But being in New York, I’ve really upgraded my wardrobe. I’m wearing more button-downs, nice jeans and I’ve stored the flip-flops away for a while.
“It’s nice to dress up,” he continues. “When you go out for a nice dinner or to a play — all the things New York has to offer — it’s good to look nice doing it.”