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January 2019
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New York Mets issue statement on passing of ”Le Grand Orange” Rusty Staub


The Mets family suffered another loss earlier today when Daniel “Rusty” Staub passed away in a West Palm Beach Hospital after an illness. He was almost as well known for his philanthropic work as he was for his career as a baseball player, which spanned 23 seasons. There wasn’t a cause he didn’t champion. Rusty helped children, the poor, the elderly and then there was his pride and joy The New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund. A six-time All-Star, he is the only player in Major League history to have collected as least 500 hits with four different teams. The entire Mets organization sends its deepest sympathy to his brother Chuck and sisters Sue Tully and Sally Johnson. He will be missed by everyone.

Read more: New York Mets

Rusty Staub as a NY Mets player in 1973 by Desert Sun via wikipedia commons

New York Mets

After three seasons in Montreal, the New York Mets made a blockbuster trade for Staub in 1972 in exchange for first baseman-outfielder Mike Jorgensenshortstop Tim Foli, and outfielder Ken Singleton.  He was batting .313 for the Mets until June 3 of that year, when he was hit by a pitch from future teammate George Stone of the Atlanta Braves, fracturing his right wrist. He played through the pain for several weeks until X-rays revealed the broken bone. Surgery was required and as a result, he went on the disabled list and didn’t return to the line-up until September 18, 1972.

The injury never quite healed right and to make matters worse, he was hit by a pitch from Ramón Hernández of the Pittsburgh Pirates (on the left hand this time) early in the 1973 season. But he still led the team in RBIs. In the National League Championship Series against the Cincinnati Reds, Staub hit three home runs and had five runs batted in. In Game 4 he made an outstanding play defensively, when he robbed Dan Driessen of an extra-base hit in the 11th inning. But while making the catch in right field, he crashed into the fence and separated his right shoulder. The injury forced him out of the lineup for Game 5. The Mets went on to beat the heavily favored Reds to win the National League Pennant in 5 games. In the World Series the shoulder injury forced him out of Game 1. But he returned to the lineup for Game 2, but had to throw underhanded and weakly for the remainder of the World Series. Despite the injury, he batted .423 against the Oakland Athletics including a home run and six runs batted in. For the 1973 postseason he batted .341 with 4 home runs and 11 runs batted in.

In 1974 he had an injury free season and led the Mets in hits, runs batted in, and at bats.

In 1975, he set a Mets record with 105 runs batted in—the first Met player to surpass 100 RBIs—which was not matched until 1986, when it was tied by Gary Carter, and not surpassed until 1990 when Darryl Strawberry recorded 108.