The 2023 World Baseball Classic is just about in full swing. There’s plenty of Mets nostalgia to go around for everyone. It’s already included Ruben Tejada highlights and a matchup between Matt Harvey and Yoenis Cespedes. But, of course, whenever we talk about the Mets and the WBC, we have to talk about David Wright.
After all, his performance during the tournament is how he earned his “Captain America” nickname, ya know.
On March 9th, 2013, Wright and Team USA faced Team Italy. The game was tied at two in the fifth inning as the third baseman stepped up to the plate with the bases juiced. That led to the second grand slam in Team USA’s WBC history. The first was by Jason Varitek in 2006. However, there’s no way a call from the booth can get any better than this:
David Wright provided this "International Salami" for Team USA in the WBC on 3/9/2013. He went on to reach his final All-Star Game that July and slashed .307/.390/.514 in 492 plate appearances for the year. #Mets #LGM (via MLB) pic.twitter.com/hqyzA8ykBJ
— Matt Musico (@mmusico8) February 25, 2022
I’ll never be able to get over calling it an “International Salami”. It’s just perfect. I do love that little bat flip and leg kick out of the box from Wright, too. That’s about as much showboating as we ever saw from the Captain. It’s reminiscent of his upper tank blast at Citizens Bank Park in August 2015 in his first at-bat back from that spinal stenosis diagnosis.
After finishing in fourth place during the 2009 tournament, Team USA underwhelmed in 2013 by getting bounced in the second round. Obviously, it had nothing to do with Wright. He ended up hitting .438/.526/.750 with a WBC-leading 10 RBI.
David Wright was a part of that 2009 club as well, which included a walk-off hit to eliminate Puerto Rico and help Team USA advance to the semi-finals. Clearly, the big moments were a spot he thrived in. Hopefully, his two-year-old son got that gene from him, too.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.