DENVER -- As new Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was arriving at Coors Field Sunday morning to take in a game, he ran into Mets players David Wright and Jon Rauch. Only Manning did not realize it. Wright and Rauch were dressed in full Western and Mexican garb, with Wright sporting a sombrero, fake mustache and brightly-colored serape.
"It caught me off guard," Manning said. "I heard this guy say, 'David Wright.' I was like, 'That isn't David Wright.' He was in a full mustache, sombrero -- the full hat. It caught me off-guard."
An avid football fan and close friend of Manning's former Colts teammate, tight end Dallas Clark, Wright spent some time chatting with the quarterback Sunday during Rockies batting practice.
"It's going to be weird with him not on the Colts," said Wright, a Giants fan and fantasy football aficionado. "It's going to be strange."
While at Coors, Manning also made sure to snap a picture with Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey and Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, all of whom attended the University of Tennessee together in the mid-1990s.
"I love baseball," Manning said. "I grew up playing baseball. But since I got to college, I really haven't been in a Major League Baseball town anywhere I've been -- New Orleans, Knoxville, Indianapolis. So really, since I've been in pro ball, the Rockies have been the team that I've kept up with, the team that I checked the box score, checked to see how Todd is hitting. They're certainly my team now, for sure."
As for the Western- and Mexican-themed outfits, Mets personnel played dress-up Sunday as part of a player-initiated team-bonding exercise, with many of them making last-minute shopping trips in Denver over the weekend. The Mets held a similar dress-up day last year, and plan to wear hockey outfits when they travel to Toronto next month.