BOSTON -- Unlike superstars Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and David Ortiz, who announced their retirements a full season in advance, David Wright did not reveal that 2018 will be his last in the Majors until just this week. That robbed him of what Rivera, Jeter and Ortiz experienced: coast-to-coast farewell
BOSTON -- Unlike superstars Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and David Ortiz, who announced their retirements a full season in advance, David Wright did not reveal that 2018 will be his last in the Majors until just this week. That robbed him of what Rivera, Jeter and Ortiz experienced: coast-to-coast farewell tours, with teams offering gifts ranging from charitable donations to cowboy boots to a surfboard and a kayak.
But the season is not over yet. Given the first chance to honor Wright, the Red Sox sent Dustin Pedroia over prior to Saturday afternoon's 5-3 Mets loss with a No. 5 panel from the Fenway Park scoreboard.
"Really, really, really cool," Wright said. "Really cool gesture."
The idea originated from Pedroia, who first grew to know Wright while they were teammates for Team USA during the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Pedroia texted Wright this week that he wanted to meet, then came over during batting practice to present the No. 5 panel.
Wright said he hopes to get a picture taken with Pedroia and have him sign it, then hang that with the panel in a memorabilia room in his home.
"He's certainly been one of my favorite players to watch," Wright said. "I don't necessarily collect a lot of stuff. The stuff that I do collect is from players that I respect, and players that I enjoy watching play. He's at the top of that list. … He's a really good person. It's cool to call him a friend."
Wright, whose sense of humor often involves good-natured ribbing of teammates and friends, called Pedroia "a notorious trash talker" and joked that "this is probably the first time he hasn't been mean to me." Wright told a story of passing near the Red Sox dugout during a game at Fenway in 2009. Thinking he would crack a one-liner at his friend's expense, Wright yelled at Pedroia -- who is 5-foot-9 and was obviously already standing -- to stand up.
"He said he's eight feet tall when he stands on his MVP trophy and World Series rings," Wright recalled, laughing.
While Wright is not technically retiring because he has two guaranteed years left on his contract, he announced this week that he will not play beyond 2018. The Mets' road trip will wrap up against two familiar foes, the Phillies and Nationals, who have not publicly revealed if they will honor Wright in any way.
"Maybe a cheesesteak," Wright quipped.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.