July 2004, Foley's was just in its infancy, I’d been here just a few months. After 20 years in the business I still felt like I had no idea what I was doing building a baseball bar. The Yankees were coming off a World Series loss to the Marlins. They were rebuilding, but the cupboard was bare. The Mets, on the other hand, were also rebuilding but their future was much brighter. You couldn’t turn on sports radio or read a newspaper without hearing about Jose Reyes and David Wright as the future of New York City baseball.
One muggy night in July, I was hanging out at Foley's, who should come through the door, but my buddy Joe McEwing. He had a happy, young kid with him: David Wright.
I felt like Bogart in Casablanca “of all the gin joints,” well you know the line.
It was a classy move by Joe. He was showing David around and getting him acclimated to NYC, before he would be sent down to the minors to make room for David on the roster. It says a lot about both guys that they remain friends all this time later.
That night also started a friendship that has lasted 14 years and which I cherish.
David’s career took off and he has complied a list of accomplishments that are well known. Through those year, we have cheered him on and had a lot of fun times. When David lived in the neighborhood he would stop by from time to time. I once watched him sign a bazillion pieces of memorabilia at Foley`s as he was between apartments and needed a place to work. We loved catering his Super Bowl party. One year he even worked out with my boxing trainer and I used his nutritionist (I think he got the better of that one). David grew up in those 14 years, married, became a dad, but David has never changed. He has always been genuine and gracious to everyone, including my children Ryan and Emma and me. I always believe he was a big part of the reason why both Ryan and Emma root for the Mets.
So as David plays his final series and game with the Mets next weekend, we can't help but think back to that night in 2004 when he wandered in and how grateful we are for his friendship. As this chapter of David’s life ends from Ryan, Emma, myself and everyone at Foley's we wish you well. And good luck to you, Molly, Olivia and Madison in the next chapter...
Maybe it's time for “Wright’s Hot Corner."