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Rusty Staub
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Rusty Staub
Rusty Staub
Inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame, 1986
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 12 of 983 players
Staub
Daniel Joseph Staub
Born: April 1, 1944 at New Orleans, La.
Throws: Right Bats: Left
Height: 6.02 Weight: 215

Rusty Staub has been the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup 56 times, most recently on August 16, 2014.

of 1b
Non-playing roles with Mets
  • Coach 1982
  • Broadcaster: Television 1986 - 1995

First Mets game: April 15, 1972
Last Mets game: October 6, 1985





Winner of National League Player of the Week award, June 19, 1983. (New York Mets)

Share your memories of Rusty Staub

HERE IS WHAT OTHER METS FANS HAVE TO SAY:

Brian Howells
I remember when I was working at the Mohawk Golf Club in Schenectady, NY. It was the summer of 1998, and Rusty Staub was in town to play our course. Our head professional had worked at a course in Cooperstown for a number of years before this, and had met Rusty a number of times in Cooperstown. He was in town for some free golf and I was working in the golf show. Our professional played in a foursome with Staub, one of Staub's cronies, and Ben Bates - a junior golfer who would go on to win the state junior tournament later that summer.

I guess Ben had a great day on the course. He finished with something like a 69 and ended up taking a lot of money off of Staub. Then the Grande Orange paid me twenty bucks to carry his clubs back to his car for him. I took the ragged bill home to show my father. He suggested that I keep it, but instead I spent it on lunch at a local pizzaria the next day. That's the only real memory I have of would be hall-of-famer Rusty Staub.

Darrin Gitlitz
How could the Mets have traded him even-up for an aging Mickey Lolich. This question has astounded me for years!

Art
What makes Staub, or anyone else for that matter, think that he should be in the Hall? After looking at his stats with the Mets, I'm assuming he must of had 400 additional home runs, 1,000 additional RBI's, and a .400 average in the rest of his career away from NY. Moreover, he is one of the most annoying people to listen to. I remember during his broadcast days when he, I guess, went through a phase when he thought he was British and started pronouncing "again" with a long "a" sound.

MFM
I will always remember him as having a GREAT arm in right field. I was sickened by the Lolich-Staub trade. Detroit got the best of that one. The first Met to hit 100+ RBI in a season. Rusty is a very knowledgeable man: played for Houston when Astrodome opened, end of career a great pinch hitter, great announcer and even owns a restaurant for New Orleans style food. Rusty is also a chef.

Luka
One of the classiest guy to wear a Mets uniform. Businesslike pinch-hitter. I always had this image of Rusty opening an attache case in the dugout, screwing his bat together like a pool cue, stepping up to the plate, getting his base hit, and then unscrewing his bat and putting it away. I wish he were more visible in the organization today. Always a fan favorite and a man's man.

Rich
If nobody else remembers then I'll say it, Rusty was a class act and a clutch player! They should have never traded him away to Detroit and had he been healthy in the 73 World Series we would have beaten the A's. Rusty single-handedly carried the Mets on his back against the Reds in those playoffs too. He was also a super clutch pinch hitter the last few years of his career.

Who will ever forget that one game where the Mets had to play Rusty in the outfield and they kept shuffling him back and forth between LF and RF so he wouldn't be near anything and then he made a running catch on a fly to RF. Rusty is truly a Met legend and should be more respected from the fans. If not for stupidity by management we would have seen another 5 great years by him.

He also made great ribs at his restaurant.

Mike
It was May 4, 1974. Batting helmet day. The first Met game I'd ever been to. The Mets, despite Jon Matlack's best efforts, were losing to the Padres 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Two Mets reached base, and to the plate stepped number 4, Rusty Staub. My father (no lie!) whispered to me "If Rusty hits one out, the Mets will be winning..." No sooner than he'd said those words, Rusty hit one over the right field wall. John Milner added a two run shot in the same inning, and the very first Met game I 'd ever been to was a 6-3 win, with a W for Big Jon Matlack.

I was seven at the time, but I'll remember my father calling that shot the rest of my life.

Bob
This guy was a class act! I have all his baseball cards ever made of him because I thought he was Mr. Clutch. My Dad always said that Rusty ran like he had a soft boiled egg up his ass and was afraid to break the shell. But it didn't matter cause Rusty parked quite a few over the wall so he wouldn't need to run. I miss him on the Mets telecasts. Does he still own his restaurant? I'd like to get him to autograph my card book.

Rich Lage
Stout,fair-haired and posessed of a quick chipped toothed smile, Staub was one for the ages. When you think of a hard-charging throwback Rusty comes to mind.

Adam
It was the 1981 strike. I was thirteen and my father was dying of cancer. I was visiting him in the hospital and we watched one of those Sunday morning news interview programs. This one featured a reporters interviewing Rusty Staub and George Steinbrenner. Needless to say, Rusty made George look like what he is.

It was a pleasure to be able to watch Rusty pinch hit so many times. I loved the way that he would change him batting gloves when he reached first base (inevitable). Did the batting gloves really make any difference?

I seem to remember a game when the Mets ran out of players and Rusty actually had to play the outfield. Rusty was switched from left to right and back again depending on where the ball was least likely to be hit.

Wish he were still on the bench ready for the call.

Bob-2
Rusty gave it his all in 73. He really played like a champ even if we lost to Oakland. Super student of the game; that is how he lasted so long.

David
Rusty was the first opposing team's player I ever liked. In '69-'71, my Dad always took me to the Sunday doubleheaders, which were usually against the Expos or the Padres. Rusty was a standout with that sad Montreal club. When he came to the Mets I was thrilled! He was a clutch hitter, and played great defense for a guy with a piano on his back. Remember the patented sliding catch? And his arm was a gun. He almost won a World Series for us in '73, playing in severe pain. Then we lost him for many good years, but when he came back he was still the best pinch-hitter in baseball. Thanks Rusty!

JOHN MAXWELL SR
Rusty for Mickey Lolich. My WORST memories of any Met trade. (I know there have been a few.) Let's see, Staub drives in 105 runs so let's trade him for a 12-18 pitcher who's best years were DEFINITELY behind him. I never understood how this trade happened. Three or four years earlier and I could have MAYBE understood this. What an insult to Rusty.

Frederick
People remember that Staub's shoulder was injured during the 1973 World Series. What they forget was how Staub injured that shoulder. In game 4 of the 1973 playoffs with the Reds, he made an awesome, dramatic, game-saving catch in right field. He reached up to catch the ball at the warning track just as his shoulder slammed into the wall. I remember it as one of the best catches I have ever seen and given the game situation definitely one of the most dramatic plays in Mets history.

LenDog
January 11, 2001
August, 1968 - my first-ever ML game: Mets and Astros at Shea. It was like watching paint dry: final score, Houston 1, NY 0, in 12 innings.

Houston won on an HR by Rusty Staub into the RF bullpen. From then on, I hated the guy who I called 'Rusty Stab' because 'Staub' sounded too funny to say.

Little did I know that he would leave the forces of evil and join the Mets in '72. Saw Rusty line a single to center to drive home Felix with the winning run, bottom of the 9th, August, 1973. Felix bowled over the catcher; McGraw got the win after going 0 - 6 up to that point.

Mr. Sparkle
March 1, 2001
Unbelievable how a guy with a body like that could hit so well. Rusty had to be one of the worst atheletes who was actually a very good hitter. Dom Deluise could beat him in a race. He's probably the best pinch hitter of all time. I remember him in the booth when he first started to Broadcast referring to the Mets as us and we. Not exactly a great commentator but you had to love him anyway. Always pronounced Howard Johnson's name "Jawnson."

EG
March 18, 2001
If George Stone hadn't hit him with a pitch in 1972, the Mets never would have had the chance to set a unique record that year. Nobody on that team had 100 hits that season.

Mr. Sparkle
April 20, 2001
His ribs are famous but I didn't think they were that great. The sauce was real good but the ribs were boiled instead of grilled so you could pull the bones out of the meat and it it with a knife and fork. I prefer to pick it off the bone like an animal.

Ron from Tampa
June 30, 2001
Great hitter, and great pinch hitter during the latter part of his career. I also remember questions about his "manhood". Once, during one of the banner day events, 2 of the banners I saw were "Rusty AIDS the Mets", and "Rusty licks 'em all".

Won Doney
June 30, 2001
He was a great player for the Mets and the other teams he played with. I remember in 1972 how he was injured for a good part of the year due to being hit on the hand by a pitch. That 1972 team should have been another championship year. It was ruined by injury, a terrible Jim Fregosi, and a horribly slumping Tommie Agee, in my opinion.

Jo-Ann George
September 27, 2001
My most cherished memory of Rusty. I was only 12 or 13 during the season when Rusty injured his wrist in I think it was '73. I must have written 9 or 10 letters to him and he took the time to answer everyone. In one letter I wrote how sorry I was that he was injured and told him that I had 20 or more mosquito bites. He wrote back and sympathized about how itchy they could be! He was my very favorite Met and always will be.

Hans Moleman
October 22, 2001
Isn't Rusty the only player to have 500 hits for 4 different teams?

Andy from Rego Park
October 25, 2001
A good guy and a good chef, Rusty actually did himself a disservice by returning to the Mets in 1981. Coming off a year where he hit .300 as the Ranger's DH, Rusty had about 2600 hits and, had he stayed in the AL where he could have DH'd regularly, its conceivable that he could have finished his career with 3,000 hits and 300 homers and a shot at the Hall.

Bob
October 28, 2001
My favorite alltime player,class guy,solid major leaguer,involved in thecommunity throughout his career.

Rich S
November 19, 2001
Lots of Rusty memories - let's go chronologically.

1968 - in the stands at Shea behind the visitor's (Astros) dugout where during changeovers between innings Rusty chitchatted with the fans (including my grandfather) as he came in from the outfield. I was 5 at the time and he is the first opposing player I can remember.

1977 (approx) - in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium with Kevin Schumacher and my dad when Rusty's (then w/the Tigers) 200th career home run bounces off Schumacher's feet and down the row, into the hand of some lucky fan who exchanged it for an autographed bat. Schumacher never could catch.

1988 (approx) - While at Fordham law school I read in the paper that some clown from one of my classes, whose name I can't remember but who was dirty and smelled awful, was arrested for throwing paint on Rusty's fur coat as he was entering his 5th avenue restaurant. The guy was one of those PETA people, and I thought about throwing paint on him but it would have only made him look better.

Sorry Lenny Harris, but Rusty is easily the best pinch-hitter I ever saw.

Jim Snedeker
November 20, 2001
A class act, all around. Even when he was traded away in '75 in yet another bumbling management move, he didn't complain. I knew what his true feelings were, however, when he returned in the early 80s and said "I never really wanted to leave New York." I just wish he could have stuck around for the salad days of '86. And speaking of salad, Rusty, eat more of it and less of the baby-back ribs!

Jim Snedeker
January 12, 2002
Re the TRADE that sent Rusty packing to Motown in return for the once-great Mickey Lolich. I would rate this behind only the Seaver/Cincinnati fiasco as the most dunderheaded move pulled in the history of Mets management (and they pulled some beauts).

Rusty, the colorful, dependable, fan favorite that everybody loves, and who had just set the Mets team record for RBI's in a season, gets traded for a sub-par pitcher? You gotta be kidding me.

Frank Grimes
January 15, 2002
Everyone who is not a Mets fan says Rusty is, well should I say, less than a real man. Just based on percentages somebody's gotta be, I just hope Rusty really isn't the g(u)y.

clubhouse report
April 29, 2002
A class act, period. the work this man has done on behalf of the widows and children of firefighters as well as for BAT, which helps former players and their families who have fallen on hard times, speaks for itself--and let's face it, if you had to pick any Mets player off this all-time roster to get a base hit, with two outs and the game on the line in the 9th, there arent too many I would pick ahead of "Le Grande Orange". by the way, the ribs were, in fact, tremendous and the cheesecake superb.

Larry Burns
May 31, 2002
Another one of the all time greats. His fame is even bigger than his pant size and talent! A great pinch hitter who had the most unusual stance. I still cannot figure how he actually hit like that.I remember the 17 inning Saturday game in 1985 against Pittsburgh when Staub was forced to play the field (it was his last time in the OF) Davey Johnson continually switched him from left to right field to make it less likely he would have to catch a ball. Finally the baseball gods intervened and hit one to him in rightfield. He had to run 25 feet and it was close to falling, but he got a huge ovation for the catch. Made a good, if somewhat overrated, rib. A mediocre announcer, but because he is Rusty I still like to hear him. He will forever be Le Grande Orange.

sean staub
July 1, 2002
Too bad he could not have been an Oriole and got a ring in '83. The one wish I had was to have seen him play live. To all the people with the negativity, you couldn't hold his jock even when he played injured like a real ball player should!

Chris
July 1, 2002
I was on the #7 on 7/4/72 - the day Seaver one-hit the Padres - on the way to the stadium - and Rusty was sitting right across from me! Talk about surreal! It never failed to excite me when those orange and blue tiles would first become visible through the window of the subway car.

Matt Stratton
July 26, 2002
Nostalgia night, 1985. The consummate pinch hitter smokes a foul ball that is thisclose to a home run. On the next pitch he hits a bloop home run that barely clears the right center field wall.

Jim
November 8, 2002
Adam below mentions the game when the Mets ran out of players and switched Rusty back and forth between left and right field depending on who was batting. Does anyone remember the details on that? I think the game went something like 16 innings, and if I remember right Rusty actually had to run down a fly ball towards the right field line to save a run.

Rusty was my favorite ballplayer as a kid, I was 8 when they traded him for Mickey Lolich. I'm sure a lot of NY 8 year olds could have done better than the morons who traded Staub and Seaver...

flushing flash
November 11, 2002
Jim: I'd be happy to. The date was April 28, 1985, Mets vs. Pirates at Shea. The Mets scored four runs in the top of the first on Strawberry's grand slam but were then shut out while the Pirates clawed back to tie it. The Pirates came close to winning it in the ninth, but the potential go-ahead run was thrown out at the plate attempting to score on a wild pitch.

On and on the game went until the eighteenth inning when the Pirates threatened. By this time Rusty had been pressed into service and had spent about five innings shuttling back and forth with Danny Heep between left and right depending on who was at bat. He had not had to make a play until now. With two outs and two runners on the Pirates sent great-hitting pitcher Rick Rhoden (a righthanded batter) to pinch- hit. Rhoden sliced one down the rightfield line and Rusty ran in and caught the ball at his shoe tops for the final out of the inning. He ran along the stands to the dugout as fans slapped him on the back in congratulations. George Foster singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 18th to make the final score Mets 5, Pirates 4.

The funny thing is that this game was overshadowed by another game just over two months later (July 4, 1985) and so is nearly forgotten except by diehard fans.

Max Power
November 18, 2002
I was at that game in 85. It was unbelievable. The crowd went nuts when Rusty caught that ball. Actually they went nuts every time he changed outfiled positions. I never saw anything like it before. Rusty was a fan favorite both times he was on the Mets. He was a great pinch hitter. Didn't he get 8 pinch hits in a row to set a record?

Metsmind
December 28, 2002
I remember Rusty as an Astro playing on the artificial turf. Every time he would get on base, he would call time out and change from his hitting to his running shoes. He must have left those running shoes in Houston.

He also came over to my table once at his Fifth Avenue restaurant, let me and my buddy try on his WS ring (even losing teams get a ring), helped us make some wine selections and BS'd with us for about 10 minutes. He was a gregarious and gracious guy.

Final funny memory- he did a piece for SportsChannel on sports injuries shortly after he retired. Rusty had ballooned a bit at that time, and me and my friends died laughing when he introduced a section of the show by saying, "I have dealt with a lot of inflammation in my career."

Bob R.
January 8, 2003
The list of horrible Met trades is long, but the Staub for Lolich deal must rank near the top. Lolich was washed up and Rusty had just set a Met record for RBIs in a single season. What were they smoking? That deal hastened the slide that made the Mets into a joke by '77. Rusty was probably the best hitter they had during the whole decade. If he hadn't hurt his arm prior to the '73 Series, the Mets probably would have beaten the A's. Anyway, it was good that Rusty came back and did such great work as a pinch hitter years later.

John
March 15, 2003
I take strong offense to Art's coment about Rusty, co-number one favorite Met and favorite baseball player of all time. Here's Rusty's almost Hall of Fame numbers which are better then more than half of the current members.

Hits: 2,716 RBI: 1,466 Dubs: 499 Games: 2,951

and is still the only player to have 500 or more hits with 4 different clubs: Astros, Expos, Mets, Tigers

One of the greatest professional hitters of all time, who hit lefties as well as righties. If he had only average speed he would have been a lifetime .300 hitter, 3000 hits and close to 2000 rbi's. No one with less physical talent and athletic ability has ever done more then Rusty. Some of my best memories of Rusty are the 73 championship and World Series, the 75 season, the throw he made in the 76 all-star game, Phil Rizzuto stopping short his on-air rambling by saying, "let me stop, Rusty's batting, this guy's dangerous" and Rusty promptly hitting it out of the park. Clutch hitter, great guy. He is baseball!

Joe Figliola
March 20, 2003
He put that club literally on his back, or should I say, on his one good shoulder in that '73 post-season. That catch he made on Dan Driessen is underrated amongst the great Mets defensive plays.

And he can cook, too.

Mr. Topps
May 16, 2003
Rusty had an unusual habit of putting his hands on his hips on a close pitch that was called a strike. This must have drove the umpire nuts. You can see him do this on his 1974 baseball card.

Rosterman
June 26, 2003
Rusty was my favorite Met when I was a kid. I was always the guy on my team to come up with the clutch hit much the same way Rusty did when he was a Met. He was especially dangerous coming off the bench and more often then not his hits would either start a rally or put the Mets ahead.

I bumped into Rusty a few years ago while walking into Shea. I asked him for an autograph and he said, "I don't give autographs but I'll shake your hand." I stood there for a couple of seconds, not sure I heard him correctly. I said "no?" He said "no?" I stuck my hand out, waited until he extended his and I turned and walked away. I'm sure he didn't faze him and he probably could care less, but at that moment, that was the only thing I could think of doing. At the same time, I felt like my childhood memories were stripped away by the person that was a part of them. Unfortunately for me, my role model in baseball turned out to be a chump.

LenDog
July 12, 2003
Hey Rosterman - why is Rusty a chump? Because he didn't give you an autograph?

Players don't owe us anything except 100% on the field and 100% attention to their physical fitness. Maybe Rusty could have done better on the fitness part, but he got the first part down.

Player don't owe quotations to sportswriters and they don't owe a thing to fans who approach them off field and ask for an autograph they may later sell for a profit. When you paid to see Rusty in the 70s and 80s, he played his hardest for you and the deal was complete. Approaching him in his free time and asking him for MORE is pushy. He owed you nothing, but chose to be polite and gracious anyway when you asked for more.

Oh, forget it - I agree with you. I just dumped all my great Rusty memories because he wouldn't give an autograph to you!! What nerve!!!

NYFD
November 10, 2003
Rusty was always a class act as a player. I agree that he carried the 73 team, and had he not been injured, the 72 team would have at least won the NL East. If I recall right that 72 team started 25-7 and was in first when Staub went out for three months.(June 9,broke his right hand on a pitch by future Met George Stone).

But what no one has mentioned is Rusty's greatest work with the NYFD widow's and orphans. Rusty was giveing his time and money to the Fire department long before 9/11. Every fireman in NY thanks Rusty; his stats might fall a bit short for the HOF- but there isn't a finer human enshrined there.

Frank
November 15, 2003
Let me set the record straight about Rusty Staub concerning a few things. First of all, it is highly regrettable that Rusty is now primarily remembered as a great pinch-hitter. To have him voted by the fans as one of two "pinch-hitters" (along with Kranepool) to the all-time Mets team is an insult. Rusty only became a pinch-hitter late in his career when he had worn down, as virtually all older players do.

Rusty was a great all-around every day player. He was magnificent in right field. I'm astounded he never won a gold glove. He had a rocket arm. He hit for power and average and was effective against lefties. He was the Mets best player in the pennant year of '73 and would have led them to the '72 pennant had he not broken his hand.

Look, I love Mookie and Dykstra, but there's no way they finish ahead of Rusty (or Cleon Jones) as outfielders on the all-time Mets team. For goodness sake, they platooned with each other in '86. Today, Rusty would be making $15 million a year and, with the live ball, would be hitting 30 homers a year.

rich edwards
December 19, 2003
Frank, couldn't agree with you more. Rusty was a fantastic hitter and right fielder. I hated him prior to coming to New York. We could never get him out. Even without speed he was a terrific fielder, still remember the catch vs. the Reds in the 1973 playoffs. I think the answer is many of the voters never saw him play.

Maxwell Kates
December 25, 2003
It isn't only in his free time that Rusty Staub is penurious in his autograph policy. In 1993, I attended the Montreal Expos 25th anniversary dinner. Staub was one of the invited guests, along with Gary Carter, Felipe Alou, Gene Mauch, Bill Stoneman, Ken Singleton, among other former Expos, plus Cardinals Hall of Famers Bob Gibson and Lou Brock. Before I ordered my ticket, I asked a public relations representative in the Expos front office if the players would be signing autographs. His reply? "YES SIR!" I asked "What about Rusty Staub?" "He'd better sign, that's why we're paying him." I gather you know where this is going.

Le Grande Orange refused to sign for me or anyone else at the dinner, for that matter. Gary Carter, on the other hand, was friendly, cordial, and appeared happy to sign anything you wanted except card from 1984 and up. He even paused from an interview to inscribe my copy of his book! He VOLUNTEERED to do this! As for Rusty Staub, he clearly did not want to be in Montreal that evening. Still, he shouldn't have vented his frustration on the fans. I'm glad he's not in the Hall of Fame and Gary is.

koos36
January 5, 2004
I worshipped Rusty when I was a kid. This is even more the reason a celebrity should give an autograph. I don't care how busy or bothered someone would be by continously being hounded for autographs...they should still give them!! If someone wants to make money off them -- who cares? If that story is true, Rusty, I'm ashamed of you. You should feel priviledged to have a fan ask for your autograph. Next time take a second out of your busy life and give someone a good memory -- a gift that costs little, but lasts a lifetime.

Big E
January 24, 2004
I went to a Mets game in 2001 when a friend got box seats with Diamond Club admission. When we head down to the club before the game, who is on the elevator with us but Le Grande Orange himself? He actually was quite gracious, and signed for a kid who was in the elevator with us. Perhaps the slowest man to ever play Major League Baseball, but he always made the adjustments necessary to have a long, reasonably successful career. I always wanted to go to his restaurant when he had Rusty's in New York but never made it. Really showed a humanitarian side after Sept. 11.

Kramerica
January 25, 2004
Because I became a Met (and baseball) fan in 1984, I only have a couple of Rusty Staub memories. The first one, of course, is the 1985 extra-inning game vs. the Pirates where he caught the pop-up in short right. The other is the night he hit his last home run. It was a game vs. the Expos. The Mets bring out Staub to face the Expos' closer, Jeff Reardon. If I remember correctly, Staub took a first-pitch fastball for a strike, then smoked a second-pitch fastball down the right-field line. What made me remember this was that the ball was headed towards the upper deck. It missed the foul pole by a couple of feet. The next pitch - another fastball - Staub hit a deep drive to right-center. Andre Dawson jumped at the wall and nearly brought it back. Tim McCarver, who was calling the game with Steve Zabriskie and Ralph Kiner, sounded like he was crying or something when he called it because his voice cracked when the ball cleared the wall.

Sierra
April 10, 2004
This is for all of you guys who are angry at Rusty for not giving autographs.

When I was younger, a friend of mine and I went to Rusty's restaurant for dinner. I was our favorite place. Rusty was never there. I was speechless when this tall red-head walked over to our table and sat down and started to talk to us. Rusty not only chatted with us for about 1 hour, he had a drink with us and then picked up the tab. He must of signed every napkin in the place. I started carrying a Rusty rookie card in my wallet after I noticed him on Mother's Day 1972. He signed that, plus my sweatshirt and jeans (neiter have been washed since). In another incident a young boy of about 9 or 10 walked over to him at the restaurant and asked him about hitting. The boy was still in his little league uniform. Rusty showed him how to hold the bat better. He then signed the bat, a ball, his hat and his uniform shirt. Rusty then gave to boy tickets to a future Mets game. I don't know who your Rusty Staub is. But mine is the greatest guy around.

Rev Matt
June 6, 2004
Rusty Staub was a fan favorite every place he played. My memories of Rusty include his prime years with the Mets in the mid seventies. But most of all, it is the ovation he got at Shea in the 80's everytime he stepped into the on deck circle to pinch hit. An interesting debate might be this: who was the better pure hitter; Keith Hernandez or Rusty Staub?

As far as refusing to sign autographs these days, it probably has to do with people asking for an autograph and then putting the card, ball or picture up for auction on ebay the next day. A handshake will have to suffice.

Cappy
August 6, 2004
Staub was one of the best acquisitions ever made by the Mets. Playing hurt most of the season, and with a separated shoulder in the post season, he still nearly led the Mets to a World Series victory in '73. How they could trade this guy for Mickey Blubberolich boggles the mind!

John
September 24, 2004
Rusty was a good all around player, the only thing he could not do was run. As Rusty used to say, “I run just as hard as anyone, I just don’t get anywhere”. Rusty would catch whatever he could reach, his lack of range does take something away from his defensive abilities. He has an excellent arm but he did take a while to release the ball. That being said, he made the most out of his physical skills. I guess you could say he was a smart 4 tool, just could not run.

Kiwiwriter
September 24, 2004
Funny all this talk about Rusty Staub and autographs because I asked him about that in an interview in 1981 on the field. He said he didn't mind doing it at the park or in the restaurant or for kids, but not when he was dining (with pals) or shopping. He also really disliked guys who came up and asked him to sign six or seven autograph cards. He knew it was for sale, not collection. I saw his point.

He was a great hitter, a fine outfielder, and I hope people remember him for his first tour and role on the 1973 Mets as well as his years of pinch-hitting.

Rusty's contributions to New York and the Mets include his work for 9/11 relief (which is great) and convincing the glum and newly-acquired Keith Hernandez to stay in New York when he became a free agent. Rusty showed Keith the museums, plays, clubs, restaurants, and babes, and that made Mex think differently about playing and living in New York.

Jonathan Stern
October 23, 2004
I celebrated my 23rd birthday at Rusty Staub's on 5th. That night, he showed up and said hello to all who were present. A game was on and 46-years-old Charley Hough was pitching. My mother asked Rusty how a guy that old could still be pitching, to which Le Grand Orange replied, "Because he keeps throwing that bouncing ball." I later approached Rusty with a restaurant card and asked for an autograph. He did so without hesititation and wished me a happy birthday. Yes, I still have that autograph and do not intend to sell it. I liked Rusty as a player, I loved his restaurant (great ribs, in my opinion), and I wish he were still calling Mets games.

Joseph Borozny
December 3, 2004
I've been a Rusty Staub fan for 34 years. I have a lot of fond memories of Le Grand Orange. In 1972 Rusty came to the Mets thanks to Gil Hodges. It's a shame that Gil died before he could manage him. Making that great catch in the 1973 Playoffs. The 3 run home run in The 1973 World Series. 1975 when he drove in 105 runs. With the Tigers when he hit a home run that hit the roof. In 1978 when Rusty won DH of the year with his 24 HRs and 121 RBI's. When he came back to the Expos in 1979. In 1980 when he had his 2500th hit. In 1981 when the Mets got him back.

Who could forget when he tied the pinch hit mark? September 25, 1984 was the most exciting Met game I ever went to. The Mets were down 4 to 2 in the bottom of the ninth. The Mets tried the score 4 to 4 with a runner on first. The Mets sent Rusty Staub up to pinch hit and he hit a homer over the rightfield fence. Making him and Ty Cobb the only players to hit a homer before their 20th birthday and after their 40th.

Rusty should make the Hall Of Fame. He has 2716 hits, 292 home runs and 1466 RBI's.

It has been a pleasure for me to have known Rusty all these years. One of the nicest guys around. I have the biggest Rusty Staub collection around. If anybody has anything that might interest me me please e-mail me, thanks.

Jim McDonough
December 15, 2004
I was at the game that Kramerica is talking about. He's right about Staub's last homer. It was a pinch- hit job off Jeff Reardon and the previous pitch was a long foul. It's not often that you see a long foul one pitch followed by a homer on the next. Usually the pitcher gets the message that "I made a mistake." Ron Darling started for the Mets and picked Hubie Brooks off base at least once (possibly twice) in that game.

George Cespedes
January 13, 2005
The 1973 New York Mets are my all time favorite sports team. That is why me three dogs are named Rusty, Cleon, and Milner. I can tell you our next dogs name will be Tugger.

Dana kramer
March 29, 2005
I remember his three seasons in Detroit very well; when you needed a hit you usually got it from him. Generally wasn't for extra bases, but he was a GREAT pure hitter.

DT
May 9, 2005
Rusty was a real fine player. Great hitter and decent outfielder with absolutely NO speed. NONE. I was a young clerk on Wall St in the winter of 1985/86 when I met Rusty in the lobby of my building. It was weird seeing him out of uniform and took me a moment to realize it was him. (He was pretty big.)

I started talking to him, and I gotta tell you he was more then generous with his time. I asked if he would be back in '86, he said he didn't think so and intimated that Davey Johnson didn't want him. Turned out he was right.

We must have chatted for a good 15 minutes. I asked him for an autograph for my younger brother who worshipped him (honest!), he declined because he was on his way to Citibank for a charity function. An excuse I freely accepted. Seemed real nice, in fact we talked so long I had to get going. Nice man, good player. Le Grande Orange, thanks for the memories and best of luck.

jackstraw
May 21, 2005
I met Rusty a few times when he would come to my company's Xmas parties in the early '90s. The party was always held at his restaurant on 5th Ave. The first time I met him I was a bit drunk and was telling him how I went to a game against SF in 1982 where he hit a game winning 2 out pinch-hit HR off of Greg Minton. And can you believe he responded with "a slider that didn't slide"? 10 years later and he still recalled the pitch. Though he didn't recall it was helmet day when I brought that up.

We then got into a friendly argument when I told him I was at the game where he tied the record for most consecutive pinch-hits in 1983. I insisted it was 10 and he kept saying it was 8. I kept saying, "But I was there!" and he would say "But I had the hit!" He finally gave in, but when I looked it up later he was right. It was nice of him to just let me have my way about his own record.

KMT
May 29, 2005
Rusty was loved by fans everywhere he played! An exceptional hitter and above average outfielder. How many people remember Rusty getting involved in infield run-down plays? He hit over .400 with one shoulder in the '73 Series. His trade to Detroit was a bad move all around. His humanity is well documented on this list, and he will forever be a N.Y. Met!

len
June 3, 2005
Amazing feat I recall vividly in 1985. Rusty pinch hitting in what would be his last season playing, Jeff Reardon on the mound for Montreal. Reardon who was untouchable at the time. Rusty fouled off pitch after pitch and one of them missed being a HR by a few inches. I believe either the next pitch or one or two after it, Rusty hit it fair and it I believe put the Mets in the lead. I also think they still went on to lose that game though I can't recall how. Still it was a great thing to see for Rusty.

Jim Mohan
July 5, 2005
Rusty Staub was my favorite player during his first stint as a Met. When they got him in a trade before the 1972 season, they added a much needed professional hitter to their generally weak lineup. It was a bummer when he returned to the team as an out of shape pinch hitter in 1981. Does anybody know why Topps didn't include Rusty Staub in their 1972 and 1973 baseball card sets? Too bad he didn't stay in the AL so he could have gotten 3,000 hits. I especially remember his sliding catches in right field. I was actually at the game against the Braves in 1972 in which George Stone hit him with a pitch that put him on the disabled list for most of the rest of the season.

Jim Go Mets!
July 5, 2005
Rusty Staub gave us many great memories on the field, but what I remember best about him was his work on behalf of the Players' Association. I can still see him facing down the owners' lackey Dick Young. All the players of today owe Rusty Staub a big thank-you.

Lifelong Fan
August 27, 2005
A lifelong Met if you asked me. Yeah, I know he started with the 45s, and played all over the place, but he belonged to NY. I had a hard time explaining to this girl I knew in HS (79-83 for me) that Rusty was a heartthrob in the 70s. She nearly puked when thinking of the pudgy Rusty, but he used to be skeeeeeeny-skinny. If he didn't hurt his shoulder crashing into that wall and if the umpires weren't as blind as bats, the Mets woulda took the '73 series.

Genius
October 4, 2005
I was there at the Reds playoff game in '73 when Rusty hurt his shoulder. The mezzanine seats my grandmother bought missed some of right field. So, as an 8th grade kid, I snuck down to get a closer look.

On the play of the injury, Rusty was in a full out sprint to snare a fly ball. Unfortunately, he pulled it in with one foot already in the warning track. He had no chance to slow down. Picture yourself sprinting into your garage door and using your shoulder to stop yourself - that is what happened to Rusty. Had he not made the catch, we might not have beaten the Reds, so no one can second guess his judgment. If anyone questions his toughness, I've got that play in my mind's eye forever and he hung tough.

jamey bumbalo
November 10, 2005
When I think of Rusty, I always recall his pinch-hitting expertise in the twilight of his career. He'd come to the plate with his black batting gloves and just his shirtsleeves. (Did anyone ever see him wear a shirt under his uniform, no matter how cold it was?) It seemed like he was always cranking a double, lumbering into second, and then coming out for a pinch-runner. It's too bad he didn't hang on for the '86 season. Rusty was a classy and highly talented player.

Bklyn Met
February 1, 2006
Rusty always hustled, never got anywhere with that speed but always tried hard. I know he was not a very good announcer but does anyone know why he is no longer in the booth? Did Rusty quit or was his contract not picked up? I ran into him in NYC on the Upper East Side shortly after 9/11, man was he HUGE.

BobR
February 24, 2006
I just got Bill James' Historical Baseball Abstract (awesome book) and he ranks Rusty Staub as #24 in the list of top 100 right fielders! Of all time! That put him ahead of players like Pedro Guerrero, Roger Maris, Ken Griffey Sr., Sammy Sosa, Darryl Strawberry, Felipe Alou, Carl Furillo, and Dave Justice. Way to go Rusty!

DavidC
February 24, 2006
Like Mr.Sparkle's post in 2001, I do recall Rusty pronouncing HoJo's surname as "Jawson", while with Davey Johnson, he pronounced it the same way as a typical person would. For nearly past 20 years, I always have wondered why he had pronounced two Johnsons differently (perhaps others too). Very trivial issue, I know, but does anyone have a clue to this?

JFK
May 3, 2006
Few people know this odd tidbit in how Staub was involved with the 1969 Mets winning the World Series. At the start of the 69 season Staub was traded from the Astros to the Expos. Donn Clendonen was one of the players that was supposed to go from the Expos to the Astros but he refused to report, which led Donn to be being traded to the Mets. If Donn accepted the trade--would the Mets have made the playoffs?

Victor Jaffe
August 13, 2006
I really LOVED Rusty when I was a kid. He was a geat player and a great pinch hitter. I had a poster of him over my bed. I often fell asleep dreaming of Rusty when I was a kid. He really looked good when he was slim back in the 70's. He is my all time favorite.

Shickhaus Franks
November 10, 2006
I was at the Mets-Cubs tilt on Monday Night July 24, 2006 and they had a pre-game ceremony where a young boy with leukemia was being honored and guess who was the ex-Met with them? Good Old Rusty Staub! There are 3 things I remember about Rusty that stick out in my mind:
  • During his 2nd stint with the Mets whenever he would run to 1st base, my cousin Peter would call him "Weeble Wobble" (based on the popular toy of that time) and I would say to him, that is NOT nice!
  • If there was a 25-man roster in 1986 instead of the 24 man roster, Rusty would of got a World Series ring as a player.
  • As a son of a New Orleans police officer, he does a tremendous job with helping the widows and children of New York's Finest and Bravest. I say give him the Nobel Peace Prize. If they can nominate Bob Geldof, let's nominate Rusty!

metfanforlife
December 10, 2006
Funny all this talk about Rusty Staub and autographs. I have my own tale.

Rusty was one of my favorites in the 70s and again when he came back in the 80s. A few years back, I ran a 5k race at Shea Stadium on a very hot July morning. The race was a benefit for the FDNY 9/11 fund, which Rusty was raising money for. I had bought a cotton orange Mets hat a couple months earlier to run in. My sister and I had finished stretching when we saw a big line forming. Rusty Staub had showed up and was sitting at a table, signing autographs! My sis and I joined line. I decided to ask Rusty to sign my new orange hat, which he did, graciously. For some reason, my sister became starstruck when she got to him, and blurted out, "I named my cat after you!", which caused Rusty to look up with a very quizzical look on his face. She then added, "But we call him Little Rusty!" He looked at her silently, shook his head, and continued signing.

No wonder he hates signing autographs!

deekaa
December 10, 2006
Between inning Rusty would warm up by having a catch with a guy in the bullpen. What made this exceptional was that the other guy actually stood in the bullpen while Rusty threw bullets just over the fence. I have never seen anyone else do that.

Mr. Sparkle
December 13, 2006
I almost met Rusty at a fund raiser last month for the Astor Home for Children. I was there, Rusty was there but I didn't get a chance to say hello. Tony Guida, the new anchor introduced Rusty and told about the 18 inning game in 1985 where Rusty swapped outfield positions with Clint Hurdle depending on the batter. He got a good laugh but Rusty was a good sport and re-told the story. He told how Cint Hurdle and he kept laughing each time they crossed in the outfield and then they had to look away from one another to avoid busrting out on the field. Rusty is a class act and has done a great deal for charity. He left soon after he spoke so I didn't get a chance to speak to him. Classy man and a great baseball mind.

The Ghost of Bad Met Traded Past
December 22, 2006
STAUB FOR LOLICH????? Maybe the worst trade ever. On a personal note, Rusty is a class individual. His self-less work for the FDNY Widows and Orphans long pre-dated 9/11 and has earned him the respect and admiration of the FDNY.

Also I miss his restaurants!

Feat Fan
February 25, 2007
Loved him in Houston, followed him in Montreal, cheered him at Shea. A better defensive outfielder than one would think with a cannon of an arm.

Haunted by inappropiate comments and gossip concerning his private affairs, boy, are some people ignorant!

Was a killer before coming over (21-98 .288) and those numbers as an opponent (157 games) reflected a typical Staub year.

We were blessed to have him here. Solid guy, class act.

BobR
March 9, 2007
Inappropriate comments and gossip....you mean about the fact that Rusty is gay? That's kind of been an open secret for many years. How does that change the fact that Rusty was a superb hitter in the National League? Wake up, everybody. There are gay people in professional baseball just like in every other profession there is. Someday it will all be public and a lot of folks will be shocked when the learn the truth about their favorite players.

Jamey Bumbalo
April 21, 2007
I guess I'm missing something, but I am baffled by the postings by FeatFan (2/25/07) and Bob R (3/9/07) regarding "inappropriate comments and gossip." I haven't read any--and that Le Grand Orange is gay. If he is, who cares? And, Bob R, why is it relevant and why did you feel compelled to make your statement, even though you made it in support of Rusty? Comments regarding a player's sexual orientation have no relevance to this site. All Mets fans, and indeed all baseball fans, love Rusty.

feat fan
April 22, 2007
In response to the last posting about Rusty, that's EXACTLY my point!

Joe
June 11, 2007
I've been reading through all of these Rusty posts, and would like to put in my 2 cents regarding the character of this man.

Back in the early seventies, I was attending a Mets game with a cub scout organization that I was a part of. Me and a bunch of the other kids in our group saw Rusty coming out of Shea after the game and went right over to excitedly greet him. Rusty not only didn't give out any autographs, but just walked right past us without even acknowledging that we were there!

Make no mistake about it, this man's a total chump, and ranks right up there with other Met "wonderfuls" such as Bobby Bonilla and Vince Coleman.

Charlie Myers
July 17, 2007
Rusty hit a 2 run home run off the pitcher for the Atlanta Braves to win the game on July 17, 1975. Rick Baldwin got the win. I was five years old and on top of the world.

Rusty was the first of three heartbreaks. First he was traded to the Tiger for Lolich.

Seaver was traded to the Reds - the unthinkable.

Kingman was traded to the Padres.

I never could forget the attempts to bring back all three players in the early to mid-eighties and wonder what could have been if Rusty, Tom and Dave were never traded.

Rusty was a favorite and will always be a fond memory of when baseball was pure to me.

BobR
August 14, 2007
Rusty was one of the best hitters the Mets ever had. If he hadn't broken his hand in 1972, they might have won the pennant that year.

Bklyn Met
September 16, 2007
I see a comment from Joe on 6/11/97 questioning Rusty’s character??? Maybe he had a bad day or needed to be somewhere when you tried for an autograph after the game? That man signed my pad and before every home game he would go over to the stands and sign autographs for a good amount of time. How about the MONEY and TIME he has spent with charities events, more than anyone in Met history. They don’t get any better than Rusty.

Mike A
December 13, 2007
Can only comment about Rusty as a Mets Announcer.

Early on, he was just awful. You could hear the poor guy was rattled, his pitch was shaky, he would say a few words then tail off, probably trying to think of what to say next.

Which made things really worse, because then his partner, Fran Healy, would jump in to cover up the dead audio space...and we all know how much Fran loved to hear himself talk!

Rusty did get better as time went by. Loved how he would pronounce 'Howard Johnson' as "Howard Jaaawwnson"!

Smith
May 25, 2008
When I was a kid (early 70s), my aunt had a partial season ticket package. Her seats were first row in right field. She brought me to a game in Sept 1973. Rusty walked over, said hello to her by name and chatted with me. He did the same for everyone else who was sitting in that section before excusing himself to partake in the pre-game warm-ups. I recall that we were playing the Cardinals that day. Seemed genuine to me.

Anthony Del Priore
June 29, 2008
Back around 1997, I was in a building on 5th Avenue where one of the tenants was Rusty's Restaurant. Rusty was coming out of his restaurant, apparently in a hurry, while I was leaving another store. Anyway, I'm riding up the escalator with Rusty and asked him for an autograph. He refused but was really nice about it. He said he was in a rush and apologized, saying, "Under the circumstances, I won't be able to sign, but I will offer you my hand," and extended his hand and then said, "Please forgive me." A true gentleman and in my opinion the greatest pinch hitter of all time. One of my favorite players in the 1970s.

Anne
July 22, 2008
My aunt is a Sister of Charity and has been a huge Mets fan since their inception. She was at Shea Stadium many, many years ago, standing at the railing with her 10 year old nephew when Rusty Staub walked by. My 10 year old cousin asked him for an autograph, and whether or not he heard him, he chose that very moment to spit on the ground. My aunt, being a nun and all, took it personally and fired off a letter to Rusty telling him that because of his crude behavior, she will "no longer be praying for him." About a month or two later, she received a letter from Rusty explaining that as a Catholic, he was sorry that he offended her, but at the same time, went on to "respectfully" chastise her being immature! Ha ha, my father still has the letter and whenever my aunt complains about something we remind her of Rusty's observation about her being a "bit immature."

Teresa Gardella
September 16, 2008
As a young girl my dad would take me to Shea Stadium to watch the games. I fell in love with Rusty, a huge teen age crush, there was just something about him. Now I am middle aged and still have a huge crush on him. Now that's the sign of a good player!

Gets by Buckner
October 18, 2008
I always liked the 1973 Daily News cartoon that featured a Met and Yankee. Rusty's was cool looking with him wearing a chef hat and at bat with a rolling pin. Even though he was out of shape, he WAS a great hitter. I also remember a game in Houston probably 1984 when he swung at a pitch that hit him in the leg. Other than that, a great New York Met.

Steven A
January 10, 2009
I just discovered this site and have to add one of those memories that is actually one of the most vivid memories of my childhood. In 1972, I had just become a baseball fan when Willie Mays was traded to the Mets. In Willie Mays' first game as a Met, Staub came up in the first inning and hit a long flyball and I remember looking at my father, a very quiet guy, who said "grand slam" with real excitement, and then looking at the TV again and watching the ball go into the seats in right field as a grand slam. I remember that ten-second interval of life and the exchange with my father with Staub in the middle like it was yesterday. I am certain in my memory that the Mets ended up winning that game 5-4 when Willie Mays himself later hit a home run for the Mets.

Steve Aronson
June 12, 2009
I have wondered if Rusty was gay, only because of my curiosity. He is a great humanitarian, has had multi- millions donated to his post 9/11 organization and has helped many people very much. He was a wonderful ballplayer and I was so glad the Mets got him. He played hard all the time. A man who minded his own business, played the game as a true professional, was and is a role model. He never disgraced the game that gave him a good living and that is the only way I will remember him. How he has acted as a person should be the only way he should be judged. I give him my highest praise, as a ballplayer, "He was a professional."

frkaz911
February 15, 2010
I copied Rusty's swing as a kid, with not quite as much success as he had with it. I remember when he first came to the Mets, he wasn't thrilled about the trade, but he noted that in time he would be "100% Met". He was. I don't know, however, of any other player that was let go and brought back to the Mets as many times as he was. He always came through, though, even in his later days as a pinch hitter. A pure, classy professional.

Joel Hueston
May 20, 2010
I live in Canada and back in the late 60's and early 70's Rusty was the darling of baseball fans across the country, including me. He will always be my favourite ballplayer.

He had some great years in Montreal and went on to consistently deliver solid offensive numbers for every team he played for. I was horrified when he was traded to the Mets prior to the 1972 season but I got over it.

What I remember about Rusty was his keen batting eye and clutch hitting. For a .279 career hitter the guy sure could drive in runs. He was also a very good outfielder, something a lot of people forget. He had a great arm and was a gifted right fielder up until the mid-70's when he started DHing. Reggie Jackson is great but Rusty should have won MVP in the 1973 World Series.

I know there is a pretty convincing argument for Rusty to be in the Hall of Fame but there's no point beating that to death. I am grateful for having seen him in his prime and I will always appreciate the great memories he gave to me.

Witz
November 25, 2010
I see lots of HoF comments on Rusty's page...just thought I'd point out it was reported recently that he is on the Veteran's Committee ballot this year. I don't see him getting in, though I loved him as a player (both stints), I think his numbers fall just short. I remember when the Mets got Hernandez and Rusty said "I couldn't understand why Kingman was playing first over me, but now I can accept being a back up." Anyway, it's a shame he didn't get those Kingman ABs (2 plus years may have equaled 250 more hits and, if they didn't reduce the rosters to "24 or 25" in '86, he then may have reached 3,000 (and had a WS ring). I bet he gets into the HoF under that scenario.

April
February 18, 2011
I am surprised that I am hearing that Rusty might be gay. I can assure you that in 1972-1973 he was not. I was living in Houston and he was playing for the Mets. He also worked during off season with a real estate friend at a company called Land BARREN INVESTMENTS. He is a very considerate man. He and I dated for some time. I met his family in New Orleans and had so much fun. I assure you he was not gay.

nymets1973
March 17, 2011
I first became of fan of Rusty Staub and the Mets while watching the 1973 NL playoffs on TV. It was so impressive to me the way he was able to continue playing after injuring his shoulder against the Reds. In spite of this, he still managed to hit a home run and drive in 6 runs in the World Series!

Kevin
May 11, 2012
Rusty was also my favorite player as a kid. The 73 year was his best culminating in game 4 vs the Reds with that catch and then game 5 when he won it with his bat even though he could not move his arm. He played well in the series too and his injuring definitely cost the Mets.

Lots of talk about the trade to the Tigers which is up there with trading Seaver, Dykstra and Ryan with getting no value back. The knucklehead GM traded him for 2 reasons, Staub was about to become a 10 and 5 man and could have vetoed trades the following season and there were gay rumors. Neither were any reasons to trade a player of his caliber for an obvious has-been.

Then the bring him back and play him BEHIND Kingman. Rusty then got screwed a final time by the Mets after the 85 season when they reduced rosters from 25 to 24 for that year only I believe! It is amazing he actually talks to the Mets the way he was treated.

I will add, I have his autograph. Not sure about everyone else, but he was nice to me.

C
September 2, 2012
Rusty was one of my all time favorite players growing up in the 70's. We would emulate his forward roll after making a play. He made right field a cool position. And to the guy who didn't like his ribs - you're nuts. That meat fell right off the bone and was delish. Rusty always to care of the NYPD Children and Widows Foundation. Great guy!

Quality Met
January 4, 2013
The trade of Rusty to the Tigers right after he became the Mets' first ever 100-RBI man typifies what the team's management of that time was all about. He had been with the team for four years already and was only one away from becoming a "10-5" man who would have the right to veto a trade. The power-hungry owners did not want the players to have any kind of control and tried to avoid a situation in which that would occur. Keeping Rusty on the team for another season would mean having to get his approval for any kind of deal that might come up. They didn't want to be faced with such a thing.

Dealing Rusty under these circumstances proves one thing about the Mets ownership. The people in the front office were more interested in power over the players than they were in success on the field.

Mark Corrao
February 15, 2013
I was 8 years old when the Mets got Rusty. He was one of the first players I remember. I remember him hurting his wrist that year in 1972 and he had a limited number of at bats that season. When he finally came off the DL, me and my brother got excited that he was playing.

He carried the team in the playoffs and World Series in 1973 with a bad shoulder he banged up crashing into an outfield wall during the playoff series against the Reds. He came back in the World Series, batted pretty good, but had to throw the ball in from the outfield underhanded because of the pain.

I can't believe they traded him to the Tigers for a fat washed up Mickey Lolich.

He was an outstanding pinch hitter in the 1980's for the Mets. I had the honor of meeting Rusty in the late 1980's in his restaurant while I was there with about 6 of my friends celebrating a bachelor party. Rusty walked right over to us at the bar and shook every one of our hands and welcomed us to his place. A real classy guy on and off the field.

Johnny Cannella
March 12, 2013
He was good people when he came to the bar in Mineola. He drank a few drinks, ate some of the food I used to put out and left a nice tip. Good people. He came on Saturday nights too. Good people. Savitch Russy!

john a
April 1, 2013
Meandering the web on Opening Day and watching clips from the early 70s and finding this site brings on some memories.

I distinctly remember Rusty getting hit on the hand. Even at 10 years old I had that sinking feeling in my gut. Rusty and the whole team were killing it up to that point. In the 73 playoffs I also recall Rusty, Willie Mays, and Tom Seaver going out to the OF to calm the fans at Shea. I recall Rusty with his helmet, gloves and with a bat going out there pleading with the angry mob.

Todd Brewster
November 20, 2013
I knew Rusty pretty well when he had his restaurant at 73rd and 3rd. About 10 years ago, I wrote several tributes to him at this site and for some reason they were taken down and so I had not come back until now.

I forgot all that I wrote except I am sure I included how I used to kid Rusty that he should have taken the DH job in Toronto instead of coming to NY. As a DH, he would have reached all the career numbers needed to easily get into the Hall of Fame.

I moved to Dallas 35 years ago and lost touch, but I always had a lot of respect for Rusty. It does not surprise me at all that he has done so much for the City.

Bob
January 10, 2014
In 1973 I was at a game at Shea, Friday night against the Reds. One out, Bobby Tolan made it to third in the top if the first inning. Tony Perez hit a deep fly ball to right field, Staub caught it on the warning track above his head, as you should, and threw a rocket of a line drive to Grote standing over the plate and got Tolan out tagging up from third by a mile to end the inning. Best arm the Mets ever had in the outfield until he crashed into the wall later in the year.

Best arm I've ever seen from a Mets outfielder.









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