He had fulfilled his duties by early afternoon Wednesday, running the pitchers’ bunting drills and then throwing batting practice. Nevertheless, Wally Backman’s work shift wasn’t quite finished. It never is, here at Tradition Field, until he passes through the crowd.

“Wally, how about a picture?” a fan asked, and the 1986 Mets second baseman cooperated, posing with a smile. Three more photos and an autograph followed, and then he turned away from his small group of admirers and walked toward the dugout.

“I want to see you in a major league dugout!” a second fan yelled. Backman, never breaking stride, responded with a thumbs-up. In his shades and Mets cap and pullover, he was the picture of cool.

He vows to stay cool in what could be an awkward 2013 Mets universe, as manager Terry Collins faces an uncertain future and a gaggle of Mets fans yearn for the fiery Backman to get the next shot.

“You know, Terry and I have been close since 1990 [with the Pirates],” Backman, the manager of the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate Las Vegas, told The Post. “I know that his contract’s coming up, and he knows it. Everybody knows it. It’s a tough spot for him and, really, for me.

“My focus is, it’s going to be tough enough for me in Vegas. Vegas is a tough place to control 25 players. That’s what I’m really trying to focus on. What happens is going to happen. Nobody knows.”

“When I was around him in Pittsburgh, he was playing, I was [managing in the Pirates’ system],” Collins said of Backman. “He’s just a really honest guy and really cares about the organization. He cares about winning.

“I know one thing: I don’t have to worry about my back. I know he’s got it.”