David Wright Shows a Rare and Refreshing Display of Athlete Loyalty

Jocelyn Taub@@JT4Mets4ArsenalCorrespondent IFebruary 21, 2013

The face of the franchise
The face of the franchiseAlex Trautwig/Getty Images

David Wright did something this offseason that is rarely seen these days from professional athletes. Instead of taking the opportunity to bolt from the Mets, he chose to stay and be a key part of helping the club become a contender.

In a world where many star athletes jump at the first opportunity to leave struggling organizations or go to the highest bidder, Wright is a rare breed. How can you not admire a player that wants to be a part of the solution and actually put in the work? Wright wants to be on a championships team, but one that he feels a connection with. He could have pulled a LeBron and left the Mets floundering on their own while signing for a rival. His preference was to remain in Queens.

Since winning their division in 2006, the Mets have been in a constant state of turmoil. Wright was going to have the opportunity to test the free agent market following the 2013 season. He instead decided to continue with the only professional franchise that he has ever played for. While his eight year $138 million deal is certainly substantial, Wright's decision to stay in New York rather than take the easy route to a contending team was more to do with loyalty than anything else.

The Mets are not even close to challenging for titles at this time. Wright, however, feels the team is going in the right direction. Rather than just taking the easy route to the playoffs by joining a star studded lineup, he wants to be a part of building a winning Mets team.

In a recent interview with the New York Times' Harvey Araton, David Wright explained why he chose to sign a long term contract with the Mets rather than testing the market.

“I have a certain connection and obviously a fondness for this organization,” he said. “It’s well-documented that I grew up and went to games in Norfolk when they were the Mets’ affiliate. I got drafted by this team when I was 18, developed as a player. I have lifelong friendships, not only with teammates, but with people in the front office, with clubhouse workers and security guards.

“When I sat down and thought about what was most important for me in this process, I asked myself how would I feel if I went somewhere else to try and win? People said, ‘Oh, you could have it somewhere else and not wait,’ but that’s not me. I know myself well enough to know that it might be exciting, but it wouldn’t be the same as building this back up, doing it here.”

David Wright is such a team guy that it's almost hard to believe he's for real. Mets fans everywhere have been waiting a long time for a championship-caliber team. Hopefully the fans and David Wright will get what they want soon.

Mets fans, what do you think of David Wright's decision to remain with the Mets?