HOUSTON — The long-toiling iconic player from Virginia, sticking with his team through dramatic ups and downs, finally made the World Series.
Yeah, Ryan Zimmerman appreciated the parallels between his career journey and David Wright’s.
“He texted me, just a congratulations,” Zimmerman said Monday of Wright, who now works as a Mets special adviser. “We keep in touch quite a bit through the year. Obviously a good friend and I respect everything that he did. I learned a lot from him as well.
“I was so happy for him when he got to go through this a few years back. Basically, he texted me to say congratulations and good luck.”
Wright made his World Series debut in 2015 at age 32, in his 12th season with the Mets. He already had been diagnosed with spinal stenosis and had to know his days were numbered; he played in only 37 games the subsequent season and then made two ceremonial appearances at the end of the 2018 season, by which point he already had announced the end of his career.
Zimmerman, 35 and in his 15th season as a National — he became the franchise’s first-ever amateur draft selection in 2005 and debuted in the big leagues that season — doesn’t play with such a serious injury on his resume as he prepares to take on the Astros; he’ll likely start at first base in Tuesday night’s Game 1 at Minute Maid Park. He has, however, dealt with too many injuries to list here. And his .257/.321/.415 slash line in 52 regular-season games show his diminishing impact; the Nats have little choice but to pass on his $18 million team option for 2020.
He has performed well in the Nats’ inspiring run to the championship round, slashing .290/.313/.484 in the nine games. Little doubt exists that his mere presence in the clubhouse brings value.
“When you think of the Washington Nationals, he’s the face of the franchise,” Nats Game 1 starter Max Scherzer said. “He’s the player you think of. For him to be here this whole time, seen it from the good to the bad and now here we are in the World Series, that’s a testament of what he’s done and meant for this organization.
“As players, we’re so happy for him, as well. He’s such a great guy, great clubhouse guy. And we couldn’t be happier for him, and especially the way he’s producing in the postseason, as well.”
“This has obviously been an unbelievable ride,” Zimmerman said. “I’m just trying to soak it all in.”