Just hours before the start of the major league baseball season, players and Zoomer fans learned that an original member of the Montreal Expos – ”Le Grand Orange” – Rusty Staub had died, reportedly from multiple organ failure.
He would have turned 74 Easter Sunday.
Staub, who broke in with Houston in 1963, was traded to Montreal before the start of the Expos first season in 1969.
Then after three straight all-star seasons, he was traded to the New York Mets and also played for Detroit and Texas.
Following his retirement in 1985, the 41-year-old Staub stayed busy.
He owned and ran two popular Manhattan restaurants, authored a children’s book titled ”Hello, Mr. Met!” and spent decades doing charity work in the New York area.
Staub founded the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund, that raised tens of millions and provided additional support to families of first responders killed in the line of duty.
He also helped serve meals to the hungry and homeless across New York through Catholic Charities with funds from his annual golf tournament and wine auction dinner.
Rusty Staub entered the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame six years ago.