Mets legend Rusty Staub, known to many by his fantastic nickname “Le Grand Orange,” has died, passing early this morning at the age of 73 in Florida. While he was known for what he did on the field, Staub was equally famous for his work off of it and his personality. The news will surely make Opening Day an emotional experience for the organization and Mets fans.
Staub made his major league debut in 1963 and played his last major league season in 1985 with the Mets, the conclusion of his second stint with the team. He spent parts of his career with the Astros, Tigers, Expos, and Rangers, too, racking up the most plate appearances with Houston. But he appeared in more games as a Met than he did anywhere else.
While Staub is not in the Hall of Fame, he had a damn good career, hitting .279/.362/.431 with a 124 OPS+ over the aforementioned impressively long time he played in the majors. But Staub was one of the earliest inductees to the Mets’ Hall of Fame, getting in 1986, very shortly after he retired from playing.
The Mets released a statement on Staub’s death: