March 29 (UPI) — Former New York Mets All-Star Rusty Staub has died at 73 years old.
He died at 12:30 a.m. Thursday in West Palm Beach, Fla. Staub suffered a heart attack in 2015. He died Thursday from multiple organ failure at Good Samaritan Hospital, according to the New York Daily News.
“The Mets family suffered a loss earlier today when Daniel ‘Rusty’ Staub passed away,” the Mets tweeted Thursday morning. “The entire organization sends its deepest sympathy to his family. He will be missed by everyone. #RIPRusty.”
Staub was initially admitted to the hospital due to pneumonia, dehydration and an infection, according to the Daily News. He spent the last two months of his life hospitalized.
Staub attended Jesuit High School in New Orleans, La., before making his Major League Baseball debut at 19 years old on April 9, 1963 with the Houston Astros.
“Le Grand Orange” went on to make the National League All-Star team from 1967 through 1971 and again in 1976. Staub played his first six seasons for the Astros, before being traded to the Montreal Expos in 1969. He joined the Mets in 1972 in exchange for Tim Foli, Mike Jorgensen and Ken Singleton.
Staub was traded again in 1975, when he went to the Detroit Tigers. He was shipped with Bill Laxton in exchange for Billy Baldwin and Mickey Lolich. Staub was moved once again in 1979, when he was traded from the Tigers back to the Expos. The next year he was shipped to the Texas Rangers.
Staub played the final five seasons of his career for the Mets, retiring after the 1985 season.
He led baseball in doubles during the 1967 season and led the National League twice in games played during his decorated 23-year tenure.
“The Mets family suffered another loss earlier today when Daniel ‘Rusty’ Staub passed away in a West Palm Beach hospital after an illness,” the team said in statement. “He was almost as well known for his philanthropic work as he was for his career as a baseball player, which spanned 23 seasons.”
“There wasn’t a cause he didn’t champion. Rusty helped children, the poor, the elderly and then there was his pride and joy, The New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund. A six-time All-Star, he is the only player in Major League history to have collected as least 500 hits with four different teams. The entire Mets organization sends its deepest sympathy to his brother, Chuck, and sisters Sue Tully and Sally Johnson. He will be missed by everyone.”
Staub helped the Mets reach the 1973 World Series, but they lost the series 4-3 to the Oakland Athletics. He later worked as a broadcaster for the Mets and owned several restaurants in New York City.
Staub’s 74th birthday would have been Sunday. The Mets host the St. Louis Cardinals on Opening Day at 1:10 P.M. Thursday at Citi Field in Queens, N.Y.
The Expos retired Staub’s No. 10 in 1993.