David Wright's quest to become the New York Mets' all-time hits leader hasn't received anywhere close to the attention that followed Derek Jeter's pursuit of becoming the New York Yankees hit king — and for good reason.
It has nothing to do with the usual Yankees-Mets pecking order, either. No, the difference is a lot more relative. Instead of chasing an upper-echelon Hall of Famer with 2,721 hits like Jeter did with Lou Gehrig, Wright has been pursuing Ed Kranepool's team record of 1,418 hits. The Mets' mark is relatively less impressive, set by a native New Yorker who's beloved more for his longevity (17 years with the Mets) than his overall prowess as a player (one All-Star appearance). Only two teams — the Marlins (Luis Castillo, 1,273) and the Diamondbacks (Luis Gonzalez, 1,337) — have all-time hit leaders with smaller totals.
Still, it had to be nice for Wright to tie Kranepool's record with a single during Tuesday night's 10-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Not only does it put Wright's name atop one of the rock-star career categories, but it also lets us pause to wonder how many times he can rewrite that record over the next few years. Wright is 29 years old and needed 597 fewer games than Kranepool. He'll get a chance to surpass him on Wednesday night at Citi Field, which would be nice since it's the team's 2012 home finale and would send the fans home with a nice memory.
"It would be more special if I can do it here," Wright said. "More meaningful, probably. Regardless, I'm proud...and humbled. Growing up, you never think that you will make it to the big leagues, much less have this many hits."
It's much too early to tell for certain, but Wright does have a chance at becoming the first Mets player to record 3,000 hits. (For comparison's sake, Jeter had 1,546 hits through his age 29 season, doing it in 43 fewer games than Wright.)
Wright's longevity will have a lot to do with his pursuit of that number, of course, but whether or not he remains a Met while collecting those hits might actually be a bigger question mark. The third baseman set to become a free agent after the 2013 season and it remains to be seen if either side will pursue an extension this offseason. Wright has held the title of the on-field Mr. Met for the better part of the last decade, but will he want to remain with a franchise that hasn't come close to matching his own level of excellence the past few years?