MLB deaths: The 2018 All-Eternal Team

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 26: A general view of the Willie McCovey statue ahead of a game between the Colorado Rockies and the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 26: A general view of the Willie McCovey statue ahead of a game between the Colorado Rockies and the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
6 of 13
Next
MLB deaths
WASHINGTON – JULY 23: National League dugout from left to right: Randy Hunndley #9 and Leo Durrocher of the Chicago Cubs; Dave Brisstol and Tony Perrez #24 of the Cincinnati Reds; Rusty Staaub #10 of the Montreal Expos; Dennis Mennke #11 of the Houston Astros and Pete Rosse #14 of the Cincinnati Reds during the All-Star Game at RFK Stadium on July 23, 1969 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

OF) Rusty Staub, 1963-1985, Houston Astros, Montreal Expos, New York Mets, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers

When the Houston Astros came into existence in 1962, one of the first things they did was sign Rusty Staub, then a New Orleans teen-age phenom, to a $100,000 deal. He didn’t disappoint, reaching the majors at age 19 in 1963 and blossoming by 1967 into an All-Star.

Staub batted .333 with a league-leading 44 doubles in 1967 and .297 one season later. Still, with Houston incapable of escaping the standings’ nether regions, Staub was included in a five-player trade with Montreal prior to the 1969 season. The personable Staub became a favorite of the newly minted Expos fan base for his offense – he twice topped .300 and averaged 26 home runs plus 90 RBIs while making the All Star team every season.

Expos fans also loved his red hair so much that they nicknamed him “Le Grand Orange” in homage to it. His popularity, though, didn’t prevent the Expos from trading him to the Mets  when New York needed a power presence prior to the 1972 season.

With New York, Staub played a key role in the Mets’ drive to the 1973 National League pennant. He batted .423 in that season’s World Series, which New York lost to Oakland in seven games.

Still a potent hitter, Staub was traded to Detroit in 1976, but he spent the final decade of his 23-year career kicking around old haunts. He was acquired by the Expos in 1979, and following a one-season tenure in Texas re-signed with the Mets in 1981. Staub retired at age 41 in 1985.

His career resume shows 292 home runs and 1,466 RBIs atop a .279 batting average in 2,951 games. He was a six-time All Star.

Briefly a New York restaurant operator, he died at age 73 on March 29.