Delta dubs 'The Wright Flight'
Mets third baseman amazed by aircraft naming
NEW YORK -- A plane?
At first, when David Wright's agent, Peter Pedalino, called Wright last week to tell him of the plan by Delta Air Lines to dub one of its aircraft, "The Wright Flight," the 23-year-old third baseman understandably was taken aback.
Of course, Wright knows that he and his three brothers, Stephen, Daniel, and Matthew, often joked while growing up that they were a spinoff of Orville and Wilbur, also known as "the Wright brothers."
While these modern-day Wright brothers haven't changed the world with a monumental invention, David has done a fine job of making his mark on the game of baseball in a short amount of time.
So, with everything else that has happened this season, both on and off the field, Wright took it in stride.
"The whole year has all just been surreal," admitted Wright, as he stood smiling on the jetway leading into the MD88 plane with "The Wright Flight" moniker affixed next to the boarding door. "I know I'll get more jokes in the clubhouse about this one, but it's not often that you get a chance to do something like this. So it's pretty neat, and it's one of the great perks about playing in New York."
Delta Air Lines, the official airline of the New York Mets, wanted a unique way to celebrate the success Wright and the Mets have had this year and to show its commitment to LaGuardia Airport in New York City, one of Delta's hubs.
"This is our way of congratulating the team, by dedicating one of our aircraft to its All-Star third baseman," said Tim Mapes, managing director of marketing for Delta. "Delta is excited about the success of the Mets this season, and we wish them the best of luck in the 2006 playoffs."
For Wright, who already has experienced winning the National League Player of the Month award for June, being voted as the starting third baseman for the 2006 All-Star Game, coming in second in the Century 21 Home Run Derby, hitting a home run in his first All-Star Game at-bat and making an appearance on the "Late Show with David Letterman," having a plane named for him falls in line with the rest of the dream-like scenarios.
"It's one of those things where not until after the season's over and I can sit back in my apartment will I realize and grasp everything that's gone on this year," said Wright. "I never would have thought back in Little League, T-ball, though, that something like this would happen. It's more than a dream come true. It's beyond my dreams."
"The Wright Flight" moniker on the Delta Shuttle aircraft includes Wright's No. 5 with his signature emblazoned over top of it. Circling around his number in blue lettering, it says "The David Wright Flight."
The plane makes its flights between New York and Boston and Washington, and it will be in service with the sticker for six months.
"I use Delta to go home to visit family and friends, so this will be pretty cool to take a plane named after me when I go home," said Wright. "I haven't told my dad yet but he'll probably want one named after him, too. And my brothers will get on me about this one as well."
Either way, considering how well Wright's season has gone, he hopes this is a sign of good things to come for the Mets in the next few weeks.
"With the fans we have here and the energy and excitement they generate, I think we have the type of team to do well in the playoffs," said Wright. "We have the tools to make things happen where the sky is the limit for us."
Chris Girandola is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.