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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Rusty Staub, beloved Mets icon, dead at 73 | NYDN

In every way, Rusty Staub, the beloved Mets’ hitting icon, who passed away early Thursday morning at age 73, was bigger than life — a bigger-than-life baseball personality, humanitarian, gourmet chef, wine connoisseur, friend-to-all and, to the fans of Montreal, quite simply, “Le Grand Orange.”

Staub died at 12:30 a.m. Thursday at the Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach due to multiple organ failure. He was initially admitted with pneumonia, dehydration and an infection and had spent the last eight weeks in the hospital. He would have turned 74 on Sunday.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 29, 2018 at 12:12 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: in memoriam, mets, rusty staub

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   1. J in the Slope Posted: March 29, 2018 at 12:22 PM (#5644917)
Couldn't help but get choked up watching Keith try to talk about Rusty.

Keith's press conference
   2. phredbird Posted: March 29, 2018 at 12:44 PM (#5644948)
bummer. he was a big deal to us kids from new orleans back in the 60s.
   3. Rennie's Tenet Posted: March 29, 2018 at 01:57 PM (#5645075)
A folk hero in three cities, and counting New Orleans I guess four. One of my favorite players of my youth.
   4. BDC Posted: March 29, 2018 at 02:05 PM (#5645092)
A folk hero in three cities, and counting New Orleans I guess four

I was going to say five, because he was pretty popular in Detroit, too. I wondered if Staub had played for anybody but Houston, Montreal, Detroit, and the Mets, and come to find he'd been a Ranger for a year – in 1980, a while before I got here.
   5. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 29, 2018 at 02:06 PM (#5645095)

Never saw him play.
   6. Stormy JE Posted: March 29, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5645104)
Watching him at Shea ca. 1984 attempting to chug home from second base on a base hit was quite the spectacle.
   7. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 29, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5645147)
He's still the face of the Expos to me, and I guess forever will be.
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: March 29, 2018 at 02:55 PM (#5645154)
only player with 500+ hits for four different teams, fyi

resurrecting one more time

140. Howie Menckel Posted: February 13, 2017 at 12:09 PM (#5400548)

Mets-Pirates, April 28, 1985

The Mets got a Strawberry grand slam in the 1st, then didn't score again until the 18th.

this is the final field appearance ever for Staub, the portly pinch-hitter. Rusty, batting in the bottom of the 12th, doubles to move Rafael Santana to third (ground-rule double) with none out. but the Mets don't score and they are out of fielders, so Rusty sometimes flips from LF vs LH to RF vs RH in the same inning. every time he waddles across the field, that crowd roars (I was LF). it was bizarre.

in the top of the 18th, pinch-hitter Rick Rhoden (a SP but a .253 career hitter, and he hit for OF Doug Frobel) lines one to RF with a man on - and our boy Rusty lumbers forward and makes a sliding catch. the crowd goes wild.

my favorite game evah, played in a tidy 5:21 on a glorious Sunday afternoon.

I had some other pals who also went that day and who planned to do a beer an inning. glad I was with a different crew, as I still remember the game.
   9. DavidFoss Posted: March 29, 2018 at 03:16 PM (#5645172)
A retrosheet research analysis by Tom Ruane a few years ago found that Staub batted clean-up in the two youngest lineups of all-time -- the second-youngest game being the famous "John Paciorek" game. (see link for links to the boxes for the games).
   10. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 29, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5645188)
Re: #8-- ignominiously fails to reproduce the "Staub LF-RF-LF-RF-LF-RF-LF-RF-(etc)" fielding designation from the box score... and the newspapers of 1985 had a lot less space to waste than the world wide web does.
   11. 'Spos Posted: March 29, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5645223)
   12. Kiko Sakata Posted: March 29, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5645229) ignominiously fails to reproduce the "Staub LF-RF-LF-RF-..." fielding designation from the box score

I think BB-Ref gets their play-by-plays from Retrosheet and this game actually came up recently in the Retrosheet e-mail list. Basically, Dave Smith's explanation was something like "yeah, we don't know exactly when he shifted, so we just noted it once for simplicity". But he did say that he would edit the play-by-play to give Staub credit for the putout referenced by Howie the next time Retrosheet does an update (probably late June).

And condolences to Staub's family, friends, and former teammates. Not a Hall-of-Famer but an important and beloved part of the history of baseball.
   13. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 29, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5645234)
re: the 18 inning LF-RF-LF game--the Mets starting pitcher was (of all people) Roger McDowell--one of only 2 starts in his career
   14. dejarouehg Posted: March 29, 2018 at 07:22 PM (#5645309)
Great player and very philanthropic. I remember him playing the 73 WS with a horrible shoulder. Such a gutsy player.

Still don't know why he was traded. (Was it a DH thing?)

   15. Posada Posse Posted: March 29, 2018 at 08:05 PM (#5645326)
Not a Hall-of-Famer but an important and beloved part of the history of baseball.

He has to be one of the most prominent members of the “Hall of Very Good”, meant in the best possible sense.
   16. baxter Posted: March 30, 2018 at 12:41 AM (#5645410)
There was an article in which Staub described his approach to hitting which revealed much of the strategy apart from hand/eye coordination. He described facing Don Sutton; he homered off him 3 times in the game (1 fair, 2 foul). Staub figured that signs were coming from the mound not from the rookie catcher (possibly Yeager?, Sutton would have been a 7 year vet in '72); can't remember the source article (LA Times; maybe it had been linked here?). If anyone can locate it, it made for an interesting read and demonstrated Staub's intelligence.
   17. baudib Posted: March 30, 2018 at 03:03 AM (#5645420)
I remember him. In the days before 7-man bullpens, the NL had a few of these types of guys who stuck around at the end of their careers as PH specialists. Willie Montanez was one, Del Unser, Steve Braun. But Staub was the best and did it for longer than any of them.

   18. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 30, 2018 at 06:45 AM (#5645426)
I always figured Rusty as more than 7 years older than me because he was playing in the majors before I turned 12.
   19. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: March 30, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5645827)
Couldn't help but get choked up watching Keith try to talk about Rusty.

Keith's press conference

I like how in a roundabout way, Keith credited Rusty with helping him maximize his philandering opportunities upon coming to New York in 84.
   20. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: April 02, 2018 at 10:07 AM (#5646704)
Still don't know why he was traded. (Was it a DH thing?)

Stooooooopid trade -- of which the Mets have made many, of course.

After setting a club record for RBI (105), Staub was traded to Detroit for...wait for it...Mickey Lolich.

NYM lost a LOT of fans with that one.
   21. bobm Posted: April 02, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5646863)
Hurdle reflects on Staub

Hurdle remembered Rusty Staub, his friend and former teammate who passed away on Thursday morning, as "a great big man with a bigger heart, a huge laugh, a zest for life, and [he] loved to compete and loved to play the game."

Hurdle, Staub, Wally Backman and now-Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire played cards together during every Mets road trip in 1983. Hurdle often credits Staub for teaching him how to handle a role off the bench.

"He just kind of took me under the wing and showed me a better way of preparing for games playing in an extra man's role, playing off the bench. It was very invaluable," Hurdle said. "Opened my eyes to a lot of different things you needed to be aware of. Just the overall excellence. He demanded a lot of himself, demanded a lot of his teammates. … He has touched so many people in so many different causes and ways in New York."

Their time together was on Hurdle's mind earlier this week. Before the Pirates' Spring Training finale, Hurdle met at home plate with Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, who has experimented with swapping his corner outfielders' positions on a batter-by-batter basis. Hurdle told Kapler about the Mets' 5-4 win over the Pirates at Shea Stadium on April 28, 1985, when he and Staub switched back and forth as the game went 18 innings.

"Way ahead of the curve," Hurdle said, smiling.

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