He's quietly been the Mets' leading man all season. So there was no reason for Curtis Granderson to stop Sunday night.
Granderson, arguably the Mets' regular-season MVP, led off the bottom of the first in Game 5 of the World Series with a home run.
With the Mets facing elimination, Granderson gave his team a jolt and gave Matt Harvey a 1-0 lead when he launched an 0-and-2 pitch off Royals righthander Edinson Volquez to right-center for his third home run of the World Series.
Granderson also led off the sixth with a walk and later scored the game's second run on a sacrifice fly by Lucas Duda.
The home run was Granderson's ninth in his postseason career. He became the fifth Mets player to hit a leadoff homer in the postseason, with four of them in the World Series. The others were by Tommie Agee (1969 World Series, Game 3), Wayne Garrett (1973 World Series, Game 3), Lenny Dykstra (1986 World Series, Game 3) and Jose Reyes (2006 NLCS, Game 6).
It also was the second leadoff home run of this series. Alcides Escobar hit an inside-the-park homer off Harvey in Game 1. In the entire 111-year history of the World Series, only twice have there been two leadoff home runs in the same series: this year and 1969.
Granderson also tied the Mets record for home runs in a World Series. Donn Clendenon hit three in 1969 to win the series MVP award. And Granderson tied John Olerud (1999) for most RBIs by a Mets player in a postseason with 12.
None of that probably means anything to Granderson, who is only one of two Mets who had played in the World Series before this one.
Unlike Juan Uribe, who has two World Series rings, Granderson was on the losing side in the Fall Classic when his 2006 Tigers lost to the Cardinals in five games. Granderson hit .095 (2-for-21) and, despite multiple trips to the postseason with the Tigers and Yankees, was aching to get back to the World Series.
Granderson went into Sunday night batting .250 in the World Series and .286 in the postseason. In the regular season, he hit .259 with 26 home runs, 70 RBIs and an .821 OPS.
Terry Collins often lauds Granderson for the example he sets for the team's younger players.
"This guy's got a smile on his face every day, if he's playing, if he's not playing," Collins said. "You wouldn't know if he's 0-for-40 or if he's 30-for-40, same guy every day. That persona on a star, and young players see it, it helps a lot."
Granderson led the Mets in games (157), at-bats (580), runs (98), hits (150), stolen bases (11), walks (91) and on-base percentage (.364). He was second to Lucas Duda in home runs, slugging percentage and OPS and second to Duda and Daniel Murphy in RBIs.
Sounds like a team MVP, no? And if Granderson keeps it up in the World Series and the Mets are able to rally from a three games to one deficit, he could add World Series MVP. Granderson has a clause in his contract that pays him $100,000 if he is named World Series MVP.