Rusty Staub, durable batter who won pennant with Mets, dies at 73


The Daily News says Staub was at the Good Samaritan Medical Center suffering from multiple organ failure. He had been in failing health for the last few years, most notably when he suffered a heart attack in 2015 on a trans-Atlantic flight from Ireland to NY. 'He was nearly as well known for his philanthropic work as he was for his career as a baseball player, which spanned 23 seasons. "There's not a question that my making that effort is part of the reason that whatever Le Grand Orange represented to Montreal and all those fans, they knew I cared and I tried". He finished 16th in the National League MVP voting.

Long after the Expos moved to Washington and were renamed the Nationals before the 2005 season, he remains one of the most beloved players in franchise history.

Besides the Expos, Astros and Mets, Staub also spent four seasons with the Detroit Tigers and one with the Texas Rangers.

Unable to throw overhand because of the injury, he still mauled Oakland Athletics pitching in the World Series at a.423 clip, with a home run and six RBIs against a pitching staff that included future Hall-of-Famers Jim "Catfish" Hunter and Rollie Fingers.

He retired after the Mets' 1985 season with 1,466 runs batted in and a career batting average of.279 to go with his 292 homers and 2,716 hits. Spurred by a now-famous rallying cry from reliever Tug McGraw - "Ya Gotta Believe!" - the Mets upset heavily favored Cincinnati, with Staub socking three home runs in the first four games of their best-of-five NL playoff.

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The Expos lost 110 games that year - and Staub would only play in Montreal for three seasons, returning for one partial season a decade later - but he forged his status as a Montreal Expos legend which lasts to this day. He also tied a record set by Dave Philley in 1958 by getting eight consecutive base hits as a pinch hitter while playing with the Mets in 1983.

Staub worked as an announcer on Mets television broadcasts from 1986-95. He also created the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund, which has raised millions of dollars for the families of uniformed personnel killed in the line of duty.

As one of the finest hitters of his era, Rusty Staub provided thrills and enjoyment for his teams - including nine years with the Mets - and their fans. After that day's attacks in NY, the foundation went on to raise more than $100 million.

Staub had a.362 career on-base percentage. He was on the Hall of Fame ballot for seven years, though he never got as much as 8% of the vote.