Early Expos icon Rusty Staub dead at 73

Former Mets star Rusty Staub shown throwing out the first pitch

Former Mets star Rusty Staub shown throwing out the first pitch

The New York Daily News reported that Staub died at 12:30 a.m. Thursday at the Good Samaritan Medical Center in Palm Beach, Fla., due to multiple organ failure. A foodie, a wine connoisseur and a NY restaurant owner, the stories of Staub holding court with fans, the media and baseball figures, usually over glasses of wine, are legion.

Daniel Joseph Staub was born in New Orleans on April 1, 1944.

The New Orelans native had two stints with the Mets, from 1972-75 and again from 1981-85. As just about anyone with a passing interest in baseball statistics can tell you, the only members of the 3,000-hit club that reached Hall of Fame eligibility without being inducted are Rose and Palmeiro.

By the time he retired, Staub had slugged 292 home runs and batted.279 but his accomplishments were not limited to the baseball diamond. And I don't know how much time I've got.

Staub was traded to Detroit in 1976 for Mickey Lolich.

Despite six All-Star Game appearances, Staub never received more than 7.9 per cent of Hall of Fame votes. Staub learned French and became a traveling ambassador for the team, hailing the advent of Major League Baseball in Canada.

His Rusty Staub Foundation, which in 1986 established the New York Police and Fire Widows and Children's Benefit Fund, distributed over $11 million in the first 15 years of its existence to the families of New York area police and fire fighters killed in the line of duty, and since the September 11, 2001 attacks, received over $112 million in contributions.

Staub was a right fielder, designated hitter, and first baseman for five different teams during his 23-year career. Those totals propelled him to a.362 career on-base percentage, which when combined with his.431 slugging percentage, and adjusted for his home parks and era, made him 24 percent better than the average batter for the duration of his career.

Staub also helped serve meals to thousands of the hungry and homeless at food pantries across New York City through Catholic Charities, with funds from his annual golf tournament and wine auction dinner.

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

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