New York Mets David Wright
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

For the better part of this century, you could never mention the New York Mets without also mentioning third baseman David Wright. Plagued with injuries in recent years, the captain has reached a sad milestone on Sunday.

Do you remember what the New York Mets looked like with David Wright‘s name penciled in somewhere on the lineup card? It’s possible, but also very likely that you don’t because it’s been a long time.

Tim Healey of Newsday reminded us just how long it’s been since the current team captain last suited up in a big-league game. If we’re looking to be exact, it’s now been two full years. For a player who already owns a ton of franchise records and was on a Hall-of-Fame track with his performance, that’s really sad.

This anniversary also comes with — yet again — another potential light at the end of the tunnel for Wright. Following a two-month shutdown from baseball activity, he’s due to be re-evaluated by doctors at the end of this month.

For now, we get a glimpse as to what his daily routine looks like. It involves heading to the Hospital of Special Surgery in the morning to continue rehabbing his back, neck, and shoulder injuries before heading to Citi Field to do more of the same. If the Mets are home, he’ll stick around for the game. When they’re on the road, he spends time with his family, and undoubtedly keeps tabs on how the squad is doing each night.

Everyone — including Wright — knows it’s possible he may not ever get back on a big-league field. That’s why New York signed Todd Frazier to a two-year deal this winter. He’s not letting it stop his desire to try, though. These efforts may draw criticism from some in the fan base, but it’s hard to not admire how he’s going about his business. Jose Reyes said as much, via Newsday:

“You have to be very strong in your mind to be doing it that long. Not every major-league player has that mentality, to go through what he’s been through and still come here with a good attitude.”

A very small percentage of baseball players get to end their respective careers how they’d like to. A storybook ending like the one Derek Jeter experienced is the exception, not the rule.

David Wright has put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into his professional career. There’s more than a likely chance it won’t end the way he’s envisioning it, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t earned the opportunity to try — however long it takes.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.