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Getting to World Series is extra special for longtime Met David Wright

New York Mets third baseman David Wright looks

New York Mets third baseman David Wright looks on during batting practice of Game 3 of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals at Citi Field on Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

He has been the face of the Mets' franchise for more than a decade.

David Wright was here with the 97-win team that lost Game 7 of the National League Championship Series in 2006. He was here for the subsequent late-season collapses, and then the painfully long summers of tedious rebuilding that followed. No one in a Mets uniform has paid his dues longer than Wright has.

As the Mets entered Sunday night's must-win Game 5 of the World Series, there was a lot of talk about what this moment meant for Wright, what it meant to a player who has been the team's leader through the years of disappointment.

Manager Terry Collins was asked if he thinks Wright has provided the same level of leadership for the Mets that Derek Jeter, who will forever be this city's most famous baseball captain, did for the Yankees.

"That's a tough question. I only saw Jeter from the outside and I don't know his impact on the clubhouse, but I know David Wright has had a huge impact on our clubhouse," Collins said. "So I would say the fact that Derek has a reputation he has, I'd have to say they were very similar, yes."

Of course, there is one notable dissimilarity: Jeter has five championship rings after spending his career with an organization that was able to reload every year with expensive new talent. Wright knew that wasn't what he was signing up for when he agreed to an eight-year contract extension in 2012, adding at the time that "it wouldn't be as meaningful" if he won somewhere else.

The Mets are the team Wright wanted to go to the World Series with. In many ways, it's been a difficult season. He missed four months with a hamstring injury and spinal stenosis, and aside from his magnificent night in Game 3 of the World Series, when he helped power the Mets to victory with a two-run homer, he has struggled in the postseason.

Yet he has been a consistent force in the clubhouse. He stood up for Daniel Murphy after he made a costly error in Game 4, telling reporters that everyone was to blame for the way things fell apart.

"He's not only a tremendous player, he's a tremendous person," Michael Cuddyer said. "The fact that he's done it for one team his whole career in a market such as New York is impressive. I've got all the admiration in the world for him."

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