The New York Mets announced on Saturday, that beginning today and throughout the rest of the 2018 season, the team will wear a patch on the right sleeve on their home and away uniforms honoring Rusty Staub, who passed away on Thursday. The round patch features the autograph of Rusty Staub in orange on a black field.
Staub compiled a lifetime .279/.362/.431 batting line with a 124 OPS+, 2,716 hits, 292 homers, 499 doubles and a 46.5 WAR in 2,951 games over 23 seasons with five teams including the Montreal Expos and New York Mets.
Among his many achievements on the field, he tied Dave Philley as the only players in baseball history with eight consecutive pinch hits. In addition, Staub and Ty Cobb, Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield are the only four players in history to hit home runs in the majors before turning 20 years old and after turning 40.
Rusty remains the only major-league player to have 500 hits with four different teams: the Astros, Expos, Mets and Tigers.
Staub played a pivotal role in the Mets’ hard-fought run to the National League pennant in 1973, hitting .279 with 15 HR and 76 RBI in the regular season, then hitting three homers with five RBI against the Reds in the NLCS, and batting .423 (11-for-26) with a homer and six RBI against the A’s in the World Series.
Staub, who would have celebrated his 74th birthday tomorrow, was in his 19th year as a club ambassador and was well known for his philanthropic endeavors, including establishing the New York Police and Fire Windows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund.
The family said that Rusty died 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.
The Mets released the following statement upon learning of the tragic news:
“The Mets family suffered another loss earlier today when Daniel ‘Rusty’ Staub passed away in a West Palm Beach Hospital after an illness. 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 (sic) 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.”
Playing his final five seasons with the Mets, Staub appeared in a record 94 games as a pinch hitter in 1983. During that season he tied two major-league records with eight consecutive pinch hits and 25 RBIs as a pinch hitter.
Rusty was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1986, a year after he retired from the game. The beloved Met will forever be missed by his adoring fans and all the people whose lives he touched with his philanthropic spirit.