Daniel J. “Rusty” Staub was born on April 1st, 1944. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, he graduated from Jesuit High School in 1961. Staub made his Major League debut when he signed a professional baseball contract with the, then, Houston Colt .45’s on September 11th, 1961. He played in 150 games that season. After six successful seasons in Houston, including All-Star selections in 1967 and 1968, Staub was traded to the Montreal Expos on January 22, 1969. He would spend three years with the expansion Expos, playing in 480 games and earning three straight selections to the National League All-Star team before he was traded to the Mets on April 6, 1972.
During his first of two tenures with the Mets, Rusty starred in the 1973 World Series, which the Mets lost to Oakland, four games to three. During the World Series he hit .423 with a home run and six runs batted in, despite playing with a severely injured right shoulder. In Game 4, Rusty went 4-4 with a home run and five runs batted in to lead the Mets to a 6-1 victory. In doing so, he became only the 42nd player to collect four hits in a World Series game.
Following the 1975 season, Staub was traded to the Detroit Tigers, where he spent three and a half seasons as an outfielder and designated hitter. In 1978, Rusty was voted the American League’s outstanding designated hitter, as he batted .273 and drove in 121 runs, playing in all 162 games for Detroit. He started in the outfield for the American League in the 1976 All-Star Game.
After stints with the Expos and Texas Rangers, Staub returned to the Mets prior to the 1981 season and spent the final five seasons of his career in Flushing, finally retiring in 1985.
Following his retirement, Staub joined the Mets’ broadcasting team for 10 years. He established the New York Police and Fire Widow’s and Children’s Benefit Fund Foundation, Inc. in 1986 and serves as Chairman Emeritus. The Foundation has raised over $150 million for families of policemen, firefighters, emergency service, and port authority officers killed in the line of duty.
Staub is also the president of The Rusty Staub Foundation, Inc., which he established in 1985. The Foundation has raised over $17,000,000 and in collaboration with Catholic Charities, supports emergency pantries that serve more than 800,000 meals per year.