'Do The Wright Thing' gala a big success

'Do The Wright Thing' gala a big success

NEW YORK -- Snoballs.

Ring Dings.



The dessert tray inside the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square on Saturday night spoke volumes about David Wright's flair when it comes to special events.

Oh, and so did a quaint musical performance by a friend of his by the name of Nick Lachey.

The Mets' third baseman sure knows how to throw a party.

Against the backdrop of the big-city lights, noise and traffic, the Second Annual "Do The Wright Thing" Gala, a benefit to provide financial support and raise awareness for multiple sclerosis and children's causes, started with a red-carpet affair along 43rd Street amid a slew of press. It looked like a scene from the Oscars or the Emmys, as hundreds of admirers and fans stood their ground in the frigid air with cameras and markers.

Cardinals pitcher Jason Marquis arrived by himself, followed by Red Sox reliever Jonathan Papelbon, along with his wife, Ashley, who drew a handful of "oohs" and "aahs" from the crowd. Sibling figure skaters Emily and Sarah Hughes flashed their signature grins. And Mets manager Willie Randolph at first wanted nothing to do with the star treatment, hurrying past the reporters and camera crew along the red carpet before succumbing to the pressure.

Then Wright emerged from a limousine, and screaming fans sprang into action. Coolly dressed in jeans, a button-down shirt and a blue blazer, Wright looked the part of a star as he posed for pictures in front of a banner that read "David Wright Foundation." He then went down the line of reporters, answering questions, before stopping to sign autographs for several fans.

"This is a lot of fun, but it's also a blessing to be able to do something on this large of a scale for a charitable cause," said Wright.

When asked about his friend Lachey, Wright was even more modest.

"Well, guys want to be him, and girls want to be with him," said Wright, who met the pop singer two years ago through mutual friends.

Lachey arrived soon after the Mets' All-Star, and 43rd Street flooded with female fans shouting his name.

"I'm thrilled to be here to help David, and it's always a joy to come to New York," said Lachey, who recently became minority owner of a Minor League baseball team.

Stepping inside, it quickly appeared that Wright had done it right.

Tuxedo-dressed servers had martinis waiting, while a Brett Harrison Jewelers-sponsored table lined with sparkling jewelry ranging in prices from $200 to $40,000 greeted guests at the entrance area.

The dazzling necklaces, watches, rings and pendants were only an appetizer, though, to the other silent-auction merchandise dispersed throughout the rest of the specially decorated restaurant.

Guests had already placed several bids on many pieces of Wright-signed memorabilia, including his All-Star jersey. There was a LeBron James signed jersey, a Michael Jordan autographed jersey, and several signed and framed photographs of such Yankee greats as Yogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto.

Food available at a number of stations ranged from sushi delicacies to specially prepared pasta.

The dessert table had a wide array of Hostess cakes in addition to fondue.

Then the real treat topped off the night, as Wright introduced his friend onstage.

Lachey serenaded the hundreds in attendance with a bevy of songs from his newest album, "What's Left of Me," in addition to some old 98 Degrees hits.

In all, it was the right type of night for the third baseman, and the perfect way to end a spectacular year.

Chris Girandola is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.