NEW YORK -- A late-arriving crowd had not reached full volume by early Monday afternoon, when Citi Field's public-address announcer began listing off the Mets' 2013 roster. Pitcher Matt Harvey received a modest roar of approval. Second baseman Daniel Murphy earned a nice hand.
Then the announcer said the name David Wright, and the decibel level cranked up four or five notches. Fans from throughout the tri-state area cheered, many of them piling into Citi Field in part to coronate Wright as captain.
"It's a long time coming," said Matt Hoey of Newburgh, N.Y. "He is definitely the heart and soul of the team."
Wright may have fit that description for some time, but the Mets made it official last month by naming him the fourth captain in franchise history. Joining Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter and John Franco as the only Mets to earn that title, Wright set about justifying it on Opening Day against the Padres.
"Ain't no better person that could be the captain," said Nick Giampietro of Ridgewood, N.Y. "He's the ultimate Met."
Though several of his teammates shined brighter in an 11-2 win over the Padres, Wright still managed to reach base three times, steal two bases, score one run and knock in another. He also served as unofficial team spokesman after the game, engaging media members for more than a half-hour.
"All Opening Days are memorable, but this one is going to stick out above the rest, because of being announced as the captain," Wright said. "And the performance of the team today, that was pretty cool."