On this date in 1973, outfielder Rusty Staub ended a holdout and signed a three-year contract for $100,000 a season.
Staub played nine years with the Mets spanning two stints (1972-75 and 1981-85). He retired after the 1985 season with 2,716 career hits, including 709 with the Mets. He is the only player having at least 500 hits for four different teams (Mets, Montreal, Detroit and Houston).
Mets fans remember Staub for his gritty performance in the 1973 postseason. The odds were stacked against them as Betfair.com would attest. In Game 4 of the NLCS against Cincinnati, Staub separated his right shoulder when he plowed into the outfield fence while robbing Dan Driessen of extra bases. In the World Series against Oakland, Staub was forced to throw the ball underhand, but hit .423 with a homer and six RBI.
A six-time All-Star, Staub ended his career as one of the game’s best pinch-hitters with 99 hits, including eight homers with 72 RBI.
Staub originally signed with the expansion Houston Colt .45s (later Astros), but was traded to Montreal before the 1969 season and became an original Expo. After three years he was traded to the Mets in exchange for first baseman Mike Jorgensen, shortstop Tim Foli and outfielder Ken Singleton.
Staub also played with Detroit and Texas.
A noted wine connoisseur, in retirement Staub owned two restaurants in Manhattan and founded the “Rusty Staub Foundation,’’ which raised over $112 million for New York City police and fireman following the September 11 terrorist attacks.
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