Rusty StaubBaseball, 1960-85
Jesuit High School/Major League Baseball
- After a standout athletic career at Jesuit High School, was signed by the Houston Colts and went on to a 23-year Major League Baseball career.
- Made his major-league debut at the age of 19 for the Houston Colts in 1963 after just two years in the minors.
- Emerged as a star outfielder by his fifth season and was named to the All-Star team in 1967 after posting a .333 batting average, and remained an All-Star the following four seasons.
- Traded to the Montreal Expos in 1969, where he would have his best two seasons. In 1969, Staub hit .302 with 29 home runs and 74 runs batted in. In 1970, he hit .274 with 30 home runs and 94 runs batted in. Being the only true star in Montreal, he emerged as the fan favorite, leading him to be dubbed “Le Grande Orange.”
- Traded to the New York Mets in 1972 and was instrumental in securing the Mets’ 1973 National League Championship by robbing the Cincinnati Reds’ Dan Driessen of an extra base hit in the 12th inning in Game Four of the league championship series – in which he also belted three home runs.
- Had an excellent World Series hitting 11 for 26 with one home run and six runs batted in. However, the Mets would lose a seven-game series to the Oakland A’s.
- After being traded to the Detroit Tigers in 1975, was named to his sixth All-Star team in 1976.
- Two years later, became the first player to appear in all 162 games as a designated hitter.
- Returned to the Expos in 1979 before moving to the Texas Rangers in 1980 and then re-joining the Mets in 1981.
- At one time, held MLB records for consecutive pinch-hits (8) and pinch-hit runs batted in for a season (25).
- Retired after 23 years in 1985, and has spent his post-playing career bringing New Orleans to New York. In 1979, he opened “Rusty’s Restaurant” on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan. Ten years later, Staub opened “Rusty Staub’s on 5th,” an upscale diner on 5th Avenue. Additionally, Staub joined the Mets broadcasting team, enabling him to stay close to the sport of baseball.
- Established the “Rusty Staub Foundation” to do charitable works and in 1986 founded the “New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund.” During its first 15 years of existence, the Fund raised and distributed $11 million for families of policemen and firefighters killed in the line of duty. After September 11, 2001, Staub’s organization played a vital role in helping many families affected by the tragedy.
- While at Jesuit, belted a 400-foot home run gave the Blue Jays a 3-2 victory over Istrouma of Baton Rouge in the final game of a best-of-three playoff series for the state championship in the 1961 Class AAA baseball finals.
- After hitting .474, Staub shared “Outstanding Player” honors with Istrouma’s Dalton Jones on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association All-State team.
- Also lettered in basketball at Jesuit, helping the Blue Jays deep into the playoffs in 1960 and 1961.
- Along with his brother, Chuck, led the Tulane Shirts to the American Legion World Series championship in the summer of 1960. The following year, Rusty hit .553 in Legion play.
- Started his baseball career in New Orleans Recreation Department play at Bunny Friend Playground
- Also a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame (1989), the New Orleans Professional Baseball Hall of Fame (2006), the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame (2012) and the Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame (2013).
- Born April 4, 1944 in New Orleans. He passed away on March 29, 2018.