OT: RIP Rusty Staub

Submitted by rob f on March 29th, 2018 at 9:54 AM
https://www.clickondetroit.com/sports/former-detroit-tigers-all-star-hi… Sad news, baseball fans: former Detroit Tiger Rusty Staub (aka Le Grande Orange to Montreal Expos fans) has passed on to the Great Diamond in the Sky. Staub, who played primarily 1B and DH for our Tigers, was one of the best pure hitters in MLB during his long career.

Comments

Mike Damone

March 29th, 2018 at 10:05 AM ^

for the Tigers during those rebuilding years in the late 70's/early 80's.  Class act and great with teammates and fans.  Think he was a fan favorite for all 5 teams he played for.

Very underrated when you think of great past hitters.  Rusty had over 2,700 hits in a 23 year major league career.  

But overall, he seemed to be a good guy who loved what he did, and the fans recognized this.  RIP Rusty.

Kevin13

March 29th, 2018 at 10:03 AM ^

seeing that old footage from games in Montreal brought back some good old memories. Some great players went through that city playing in that old park.  RIP Rusty....

Naked Bootlegger

March 29th, 2018 at 10:24 AM ^

Lefty with lethal bat.   One of my first Tiger heroes.

Saw him, Mark Fidrych, Ron LeFlore and the gang play in 1976 at my first visit to Tiger Stadium.   Great memories as a very young Tigers fan.

 

True Blue Grit

March 29th, 2018 at 10:34 AM ^

in 1976.  Mark the Bird was the talk of baseball.  And more than that, it was a fun year for other sports.  That November, Michigan shut out Ohio State in Columbus 22-0.  And the Michigan Basketball team was riding high too.  In March, they got to the NCAA finals before losing to undefeated IU, and in November started a season where they were ranked #1 much of the season.  

Don

March 29th, 2018 at 10:56 AM ^

"According to Staub, who was there the day it happened, Fidrych was in the outfield shagging flies in spring training when he hurtled himself through the air to get at a hard hit ball. He landed on his left leg and twisted it in an odd manner. The Bird bounced on it and limped a little, but he still continued to stand out there for a few minutes. Staub knew immediately that Fidrych had injured himself.

“He had this big grin on his face, like he always did. He was goofing around out there and he [landed] wrong.”

https://www.detroitathletic.com/blog/2012/05/10/injury-to-rivera-of-yan…

1VaBlue1

March 29th, 2018 at 10:21 AM ^

Sad...  He was a fan favorite at Tigers Stadium, always reliable at the plate.  And he had to hit well, because he couldn't run any faster than I can right now!  He was no threat to steal, that's for sure.  In the off-season, he moonlighted as a grave digger.  Salaries weren't what they are now...

zapata

March 29th, 2018 at 12:27 PM ^

that's for damn sure! One of our favorite lines from when Al Kaline was doing color commentary on TV (when Rusty would hit a dribbler that some players might be able to turn into an infield single) was: "Well... Rusty.... can't run."  He didn't mince words, Al.

But I loved watching Rusty. I also saw him at the Corner in Fidrych's year, 1976. RIP Rusty

desmonsm

March 29th, 2018 at 11:20 AM ^

Met Rusty and some of his friends at the bar at a golf course in Ireland in 2006. I’m too young to remember him but my uncle instantly recognized him. Very nice man. RIP.

M_Born M_Believer

March 29th, 2018 at 11:22 AM ^

And Jason fondly recalls the '76 season with Mark, Rusty, and the team.  Great vet, pure hitter...... Great individual.....

Always remember my youthful days mimicing his short sweet swing in the backyard....

schreibee

March 29th, 2018 at 12:57 PM ^

Have you told your son Jason Thompson's nickname back in those Tiger Stadium days?

He was "Rooftop" Thompson, for prodigious blasts that hit, and even cleared, the right-field roof.

In today's HR friendly game, where uppercutting is in and strikeouts are less frowned upon, JT may have been very in demand!

Matte Kudasai

March 29th, 2018 at 11:30 AM ^

Kell & Kaline used to joke about the time he hit an inside the park home run, said the outfielders must have lost the ball in the grass.

And he used to choke up about a full hands length - 

rip

wigeon

March 29th, 2018 at 11:31 AM ^

Nolan Ryan cruising on a 1-hitter into the 9th. Nobody got past first the whole game. HBP, then a walk, then Rusty stepped up and first pitch smoked one into the upper deck in right.  Tigers won 3-2.  

Zarniwoop

March 29th, 2018 at 11:56 AM ^

Wow, this is awful AND strange.

He popped into my head last night after decades of not remembering he existed. Now he's gone.

I understand coincidence happens, but eerie. He was a great hitter.

uminks

March 29th, 2018 at 12:36 PM ^

were not very good, the players like Rusty, Ron, Mark, Milt and Aurelio were fun to watch as a kid playing baseball in little league through much of those summers.

xtramelanin

March 29th, 2018 at 2:40 PM ^

name using george kell's voice in our head, 'its a bright sun-shiney day here at tiger stadium folks, and rusty staub is the first batter in the inning.  you have got to know he would like to continue the hot streak he has been on...."

memories of our youth.  bless you rusty, you just hit your way into heaven.  

Late Bluemer

March 29th, 2018 at 3:47 PM ^

Was a tragic day for Mets fans when he was traded to the Tigers.  Glad that he was able to come back and finish his career in NY while serving as a premier pinch hitter.

Old Alum

March 29th, 2018 at 4:54 PM ^

RIP. I was in Cooperstown for Mike Piazza's Hall of Fame induction ceremony a few years back and I was out to dinner with some friends and there was Rusty Staub sitting at the bar by himself. We went over and said hello and he was as nice as could be.

I'm a lifelong Mets fan, I grew up in Queens not far from Shea, and Rusty's always been a favorite.

rob f

March 29th, 2018 at 8:35 PM ^

titled: "Remembering the life of Rusty Staub" that covers pretty well in just 4 1/2 minutes Staub's greatness as a baseball player/teammate/HITTER and a person.

https://youtu.be/HkvFU8W-GIc

I remember well the way Rusty would stride to the plate, hitch his batting gloves, and then wiggle his fingers as he choked up on the bat further than practically any hitter I've ever seen. He could spray the ball anywhere, hit the gaps for doubles (499 in his career despite having absolutely no wheels) or drop it into the upper deck porch at Tiger Stadium. Whatever the Tigers needed and whenever opposing pitchers made a mistake, Rusty came through.

If the man would have had any footspeed whatsoever, I have little doubt he's be a member of the Baseball HOF. As a person, though, he definitely belongs to the Human Being HOF.