Mets legend Rusty Staub dies at 73

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Former Detroit Tigers All-Star hitter Rusty Staub dies at 73

31 March, 2018

After his playing career, Staub gave back to NY firefighters and police officers through the Rusty Staub Foundation, raising millions for the families of first responders killed in the line of duty.

According to the New York Daily News, he died of multiple organ failure.

Following the death of his former teammate Rusty Staub on Thursday morning, Mets icon and television broadcaster Keith Hernandez agreed to take questions about his longtime friend before the Mets' opening day matchup with the Cardinals at Citi Field.

FILE - This is a March 1975 file photo showing New York Mets baseball player Rusty Staub in St. Petersburg, Fla.

"The Mets family suffered another loss earlier today when Daniel 'Rusty" Staub passed away in a West Palm Beach hospital after an illness, ' the team said in statement. He was nearly as well known for his philanthropic work as he was for his career as a baseball player, which spanned 23 seasons. There wasn't a cause he didn't champion.

Besides his brother, he is survived by his sisters, Sally Johnston and Susan Tully. He will be missed by everyone'.

The six-time All-Star's career spanned 23 years and also included stints with the Montreal Expos, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers.

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Following the 9-11 terrorist attacks in 2001, Mets players and coaches donated their entire salaries from their first game back, about $450,000, to Staub's foundation.

Staub, who had been in failing health in recent years, was awarded spots on six All-Star teams over a career with five teams in which he compiled a solid.279 batting average, with 2,716 base hits, 292 home runs and 1,466 runs batted in.

He flowered as a hitter with the Astros of the mid-1960s; became the Expos" first star player; and played nine seasons with the Mets in two stints: in the 1970s, when they won their second National League pennant, and then in the "80s, when he became one of baseball's most accomplished pinch-hitters. In 1986, he was elected to the Mets Hall of Fame.

As much an impact Staub had on the playing field, he's also remembered for his philanthropic efforts. It has raised over $17 million, establishing food pantries and mobile feeding units in all five boroughs that serve hundreds of thousands of meals annually.

"Known for his power and patience at the plate, Rusty became an All-Star for three different clubs and a fan favourite", Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said.

The Mets, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame, extended their condolences via Twitter.

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