Mets slugger Rusty Staub dead at 73

Kristopher Nichols
March 31, 2018

Rusty Staub, an original member of the Montreal Expos and one of the team's first superstars, has died.

He broke into the majors as a teenager with Houston, lasted into his 40s with the Mets and spent decades doing charity work in the NY area.

It all began at Jesuit High School in New Orleans, where Staub played at first alongside his brother, Chuck Staub, at center field, according to The Society for American Baseball Research.

Staub re-signed with the Mets before the 1981 season and was a player-coach for them in '82.

Staub's jersey number, 10, was retired by the Expos, who relocated to the U.S. capital in 2004 and became the Washington Nationals. Staub learned French and became a traveling ambassador for the team, hailing the advent of Major League Baseball in Canada.

He was later a Mets broadcaster, from 1986-1995, working mostly with Ralph Kiner and Tim McCarver.

FILE - In this May 2, 1999, file photo, New York Mets Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver, left, talks with former Mets player Rusty Staub in the dugout prior to a game between the 1969 Mets and the National League All-Stars during a 30th anniversary celebration, at New York's Shea Stadium. He also battled a number of health issues in recent years, including suffering a heart attack on a flight in 2015.

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Staub had 2,716 career hits, including 292 home runs and 1,466 runs batted in but he was known in New York for his philanthropy, having founded the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund before the September 2001 attacks and it has raised more than $100 million.

Staub came up with what was then known as the Houston Colt.45s, later the Astros, in 1963, at the age of 19.

Staub was a right fielder, designated hitter, and first baseman for five different teams during his 23-year career.

After leaving baseball Staub became president of the Rusty Staub Foundation, which has supported emergency food pantries throughout NY in collaboration with Catholic Charities. He remains 13th all-time in games played, 35th all-time in career plate appearances, 44th all-time in times getting on base and 52nd all-time in career walks.

Staub appeared on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot seven times after he retired in 1985, but never garnered more than 7.9 percent of the vote.

'The entire Mets organization sends its deepest sympathy to his brother, Chuck, and sisters Sue Tully and Sally Johnson.

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