With the news today of David Wright signing a new eight-year deal with the Mets, I polled fans on Twitter for their favorite Wright memories of all-time. Two stood out:
1. Wright’s walk-off hit against Mariano Rivera in a Subway Series game at Shea Stadium in 2006.
2. The third baseman’s bare-handed grab against the Padres in 2005.
Honorable mentions included Wright’s home run in the inaugural game at Citi Field against the Padres, Wright celebrating on the field after clinching the NL East in 2006, and his dive into the stands to make a catch against Seattle in 2005. Oh, and a couple of you voted for his debut of the “Great Gazoo” helmet in 2009.
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Despite public optimism from COO Jeff Wilpon, the New York Post quoted an anonymous source Tuesday in saying that the Mets are only a “50-50″ bet to ink third baseman David Wright to a long-term contract extension this winter.
The source told the Post that Wright “is less than thrilled with the length of contract and amount of guaranteed money the Mets have offered,” which “could set up a game of chicken between Mets brass and Wright’s agents.”
“Part of it is [COO] Jeff Wilpon tries to win every negotiation, he doesn’t go for the middle ground,” an anonymous source told the paper.
Later Tuesday, Wilpon appeared publicly in Far Rockaway, Queens, and said he is more optimistic than he was two months ago that the Mets will be able to re-sign Wright and pitcher R.A. Dickey.
“Certainly it’s gotten better because there’s conversations going back and forth,” Wilpon said. “So when you look at it from the end of the season when you didn’t really know how they were going to accept, or look at how we were positioning things and they were positioning things, there’s more optimism.”
Both Wright and Dickey are under team control for one more season.
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From the Munson Awards:
New York Yankees pitching ace CC Sabathia and New York Mets slugging first baseman Ike Davis will be honored at the 33rd Annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner on Tuesday night, February 5, 2013, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, it was announced today by the AHRC New York City Foundation.
Diana Munson, Thurman’s widow, will attend her 33rd straight benefit, having been involved since its inception, raising nearly $12 million to assist children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Thurman Munson Awards are presented for success on the fields of play and philanthropic works off the field.
For tickets and information on the Munson Awards Dinner call 212-249-6188.
Sabathia, a veteran of 12-year major league seasons, is a six time All-Star, Cy Young Award recipient and key member of the Yankees 2009 World Championship team. In 2012, Sabathia was 15-6 for the Yankees with a 3.38 ERA, threw 200 innings or more for sixth consecutive season, and has one of the most durable arms in baseball. He has a 9-5 record (.643) in post-season play, and earned his first 20-win season in 2010 as a Yankee.
CC and his wife, Amber, co-founded the “PitCCh In Foundation,” designed to enrich the lives of inner city youth through various community outreach, sports and educational programs. “PitCCh In has three signature programs: the All Star Baseball Clinic, the Youth Backpack Program and the Christmas Caravan.
Over the last few years, the foundation has been responsible for numerous programs in the New York Tri-State area and Vallejo, CA including: the distribution of over 10,000 thousand back to school backpacks for low income children; the redevelopment of the North Vallejo Little League baseball complex where CC played as a child; raising of funds for the JCC Therapeutic Nursery in New Jersey; an ongoing commitment to the Boys and Girls Club of America.
CC was recently inducted into the Boys and Girls Club Alumni Hall of Fame (2012), and has been working in the community to assist families hit the hardest by Hurricane Sandy.
Each holiday season, CC and Amber embrace the role of playing secret Santa on both coasts. They host a annual holiday party at the MLB Fan Cave in Manhattan for youth from the Boys and Girls Club. On the West coast, CC and Amber return to their hometown of Vallejo, CA for additional days of giving back to families in need and the community
Davis is the son of a Thurman teammate, pitcher Ron Davis, so the Munson Award takes on added significance. “When I told my dad that I was being honored at the Thurman Munson Dinner he was thrilled,” said Ike. “My dad and Thurman played together for two years and he always told me he was the fiercest competitor he ever played with during his career. My dad always told me that no one wanted to win more than Thurman Munson. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to meeting his family.”
Davis burst on the scene as a rookie with the Mets in 2010. His 19 home runs and 71 RBI were among the best rookie numbers in team history. After missing most of 2011 due to injury, Davis led the Mets with 32 home runs last season, while knocking in 90 runs, second to David Wright’s 93 RBI.
Davis hosts an annual charity event with the proceeds going to Solving Kids’ Cancer (SKC) and the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative. Davis lost his childhood friend, Mike Lio, to Ewing’s Sarcoma and has devoted his philanthropic efforts to raise funds and awareness for cancer research. Davis also participates in the Mets Amazin’ Calls program which connects players with fans who have Amazin’ stories. The Mets call children and adults who have displayed heroic acts of courage, are committed to community service, are overcoming health challenges, or other deserving individuals.
The AHRC New York City Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that supports programs enabling children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead richer, more productive lives, including programs of AHRC New York City. AHRC New York City is one of the largest organizations of its kind, serving 15,000 children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries and other disabilities.
The list of notable athletes to previously receive the Munson Award reads like a sports “Who’s Who,” and includes: Yankees: Yogi Berra, Don Mattingly, Mariano Rivera, Willie Randolph, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Robby Cano, Bernie Williams, Bobby Murcer, Joe Torre, Joe Girardi, Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira; Mets: Tom Seaver, John Franco, Darryl Strawberry, Mike Piazza, Ron Darling, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Keith Hernandez, Rusty Staub, Gary Carter and RA Dickey; and such icons as Muhammed Ali, Arthur Ashe, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson, Patrick Ewing, Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, “Dr. J” Julius Erving, and Sen. Bill Bradley.
Unprompted this week, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson mentioned Jon Niese and Dillon Gee as trade candidates in addition to R.A. Dickey.
But not everyone is up for grabs. The New York Post reported that Ike Davis is unavailable and Daniel Murphy is “unlikely” to be traded, as the Mets do not know how they would replace the offense of either player. If the Mets strike a significant deal, it will be drawing from their strength — starting pitching — to plug up holes in their lineup.
Steiner Sports announced this week that it will auction off late Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter’s Harley Davidson motorcycle for inon the Steiner Sports ”Perfect 25th Anniversary Auction.”
The online auction at steinersports.com, which also includes Don Larsen’s Perfect Game uniform and Bob Knight’s NCAA championship rings, runs through Dec. 5.
Carter’s widow Sandy donated the black bike to the Autism Project of Palm Beach County (APPBC), which will receive all proceeds.The charity’s mission is to raise money to support two specialized charter schools in Palm Beach County. C.J., the Carters’ grandson, attends Renaissance Learning Center, one of the charter schools, which serves children who are on the Autism Spectrum ages 3 to 14 years old. Twelve years ago, RLC had only five students enrolled, but enrollment has grown to 102 with a waiting list.
The 2004 V-Rod “100th Anniversary” model HD has 3,250 miles on its odometer, and is in pristine condition. Personally-owned accessories worn by Gary and Sandy will also be a part of the auction package, including leather jackets with “Kid” and “Sandy” embroidered inside, as well as helmets, boots, and gloves. The reserve has yet to be determined.
The bike was a gift to Carter from the Mets upon his induction into the Hall of Fame.
For photographs of the 100 Anniversary VRod by Harley Davidson, visit http://www.hogs4sale.com/Inventory_V_Rod.htm.