Rusty Staub Dies

One of the most popular Mets of all time has died. Rusty Staub passed away early Thursday morning at age 73.

rusty staubNews broke a couple of weeks ago that Staub was in failing health. He died at a hospital in West Palm Beach, Florida. He spent the last eight weeks of his life there.

Staub served two tours of duty with the Mets. The first from 1972-1975, when he was inexplicably traded to the Tigers for an over-the-hill Mickey Lolich. He came back in 1981 and stayed through 1985, serving mostly as a pinch-hitter extraordinaire.

Staub was also known for his long-shuttered Manhattan eatery, a rib restaurant appropriately named “Rusty” and for being a wine enthusiast.

But his lasting legacy will be the founding of a foundation to help the widows of New York City firefighters and police officers. He has helped countless families through his selfless work.

Rusty Staub was my favorite all-time Met, and I was honored a few years ago to participate in a Google Hangout with him. It was a thrill to talk with one of my heros (even if my Internet connection crapped out after I got to ask just one question!). You can see that here.

There will be a lot of electricity at Citi Field today for Opening Day. But it will be slightly dimmed because one of the most beloved Mets is gone.

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