All-Time MLB Players From Louisiana: Rusty Staub
There have been a number of individuals from Lafayette, and the Acadiana area, that have played in Major League Baseball over the years.
Obviously, the entire state of Louisiana has produced even more.
As a matter of fact, 246 people born in the state of Louisiana have appeared in a Major League Baseball game, beginning in 1874, with John Peters of New Orleans, who played 11 years, with the likes of the Chicago White Stockings, Milwaukee Grays, Providence Grays, Buffalo Bisons, and Pittsburgh Alleghenys.
All summer, we’ll preview a player from the state of Louisiana that appeared in Major League baseball, starting with players from Lafayette, before spotlighting players from the Acadiana area, and then a few from the state itself.
Yesterday, we spotlighted Darryl Hamilton.
Today, we feature Rusty Staub.
Born in New Orleans in 1944, Staub, a left-handed hitting outfielder, played parts of 23 seasons in Major League Baseball, with the Houston Colt 45's/Astros (1963-1968), Montreal Expos (1969-1971, & 1979), New York Mets (1972-1975, & 1981-1985), Detroit Tigers (1976-1979), and the Texas Rangers (1980).
After playing his high school baseball at Jesuit High School, Staub was signed by the Houston Colt 45's as an amateur free agent in 1961.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Staub made a minor league stop in Durham, North Carolina before called up to the big leagues by the Colts 45's in April of 1963, at the age of 19.
In his major league debut, on April 9, 1963, against the San Francisco Giants, Staub went 1-for-3.
Staub went on to hit a .224 in 513 at-bats, to go along with 6 home runs and 45 runs batted in.
After continuing to improve with experience in 1964 and 1965, Staub had his breakout season in 1966, hitting a .280, with 13 homers and 81 RBI', and then followed that up with a fantastic 1967 campaign, one in which he hit a career-high .333, while making the All-Star team for the first time in his career.
Staub was selected to the All-Star team again in 1968, and was later traded to the Montreal Expos following the season.
In 3 seasons in Montreal, Staub made the All-Star team every year, hitting a combined .295, to go along with 81 homers and 2842 RBI's, before being traded to the New York Mets in April of 1972.
Staub had four solid years in New York, smacking 62 home runs and driving in 297 runs, before he was dealt to the Detroit Tigers following the 1975 season.
An All-Star in his first season in Detroit, when he hit a .299 with 15 homers and 96 RBI's, Staub produced back-to-back 100-plus RBI seasons with the Tigers in 1977 and 1978, including a career-high 121 RBI's in 1978.
After spending the first half of 1979 with Detroit, Staub was traded to Montreal, marking his return there, before being traded to the Texas Rangers, where he spent the 1980 season.
After one season in Texas, Staub returned to New York, signing with the Mets as a free agent.
Staub played the last five years of his career for the Mets, 1981-1985, before retiring at the age of 41.
After collecting 2,716 career hits, Staubwas only 284 hits shy of the 3000 hit milestone, and was the only major league player to have 500 hits with four different teams.
Staub was inducted into the New York Mets Hallf Fame in 1986, the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012, and had his number retired by the Expos in 1993.
In 23 MLB seasons, Staub hit a .279, to go along with 292 homers, 1,466 RBI’s, and 47 stolen bases.