- Last Updated: 11:14 AM, May 4, 2012
- Posted: 2:19 AM, May 4, 2012
The torch will be officially passed Friday night at Citi Field when Darryl Strawberry presents David Wright with an award for breaking his Mets career RBI record, but it is not just about numbers when it comes to Wright.
The perceptive Strawberry, who recently turned 50, sees so much more when it comes to Wright, and actually sees light at the end of the tunnel for these Mets.
“I played there for so many years [1983 through 1990] and held so many records,’’ Strawberry told The Post Thursday. “Records are there to be broken. Someone will come along; either you are alive to see them or you might not be alive to see them. I’m able to see such a fine young man, personal ability aside, as a person, just a man of true character to break that record, it makes me proud. I hope David sits on the top for a long time and I know he will because just look how long it took him to break mine.’’
Strawberry drove in 733 runs as a Met. Wright, who broke the mark on April 25 with a two-run home run, now has 739 RBIs. Wright also leads the Mets in career doubles (285), total bases (2,158), and extra base hits (489). He is also closing in on several other significant career records.
The Mets have a $16 million option on Wright’s contract for next season and have said they want Wright to remain a Met for years to come.
“This is not an easy place to accomplish what he has accomplished,’’ said Strawberry, who won a World Series with the Mets when he was 24. “The most impressive aspect is that Wright has bounced back from some tough times.
“There have been some valleys, some ups and downs,’’ Strawberry said. “The good thing about that is that he has learned to deal with all that. My thing that makes me proud of him is that he didn’t quit because he had some great years to start off and then there were some valley years, but he hung in there through injuries and adversity that you have to go through as a baseball player.’’
Wright, 29, already has played for four different managers and since he signed in 2001 has played under four different general managers. There has been a heart-breaking playoff loss, collapses, rebuilding, a beaning, a broken bone in his back, and Wright has persevered.
“David has a great deal of respect for players who played before him and you rarely see that,’’ Strawberry said. “He has a great sense of baseball history and respect for the players who played here and were winners.’’
Wright has said he wants to experience what Strawberry experienced in 1986.
“It is about winning,’’ Strawberry said. “Numbers are numbers, but if you don’t win, it doesn’t mean a bunch of stuff. Some of the greatest players who have ever played don’t know what it feels like to be in that championship circle. Nobody remembers you unless you are a winner.”
“I do think the Mets are headed in the right direction,’’ Strawberry added. “From the younger players I see, they have a good chance in the future. This year, I don’t know, but I know they have some really good young players and they are developing. They are struggling right now, but that’s OK. Their day will come, if they just keep hanging with it. They’re on their way. I like what I see. They’re learning from their struggles. Sometimes you just got to hang on a little longer.’’
Wright continues to hang on, hoping for better days while putting up club record numbers along the way.Follow @NYPostsports