Rusty Staub, who played 23 seasons with five MLB teams as an outfielder and first baseman, died at 73 on Thursday.
Staub battled numerous health issues the past few years, most recently a blood infection that shut down of his kidneys in January. He also had a near fatal heart attack in 2015.
The New York Mets released the following statement Thursday morning:
"The Mets family suffered another loss earlier today when Daniel "Rusty" Staub passed away in a West Palm Beach Hospital after an illness. He was almost 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. Rusty helped children, the poor, the elderly and then there was his pride and joy The New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund.
"A six-time All-Star, he is the only player in major league history to have collected as least 500 hits with four different teams. The entire Mets organization sends its deepest sympathy to his brother, Chuck and sisters Sue Tully and Sally Johnson. He will be missed by everyone."
Commissioner Rob Manfred released the following statement:
"Across his accomplished 23-year Major League career, Rusty Staub earned the respect of fans in Houston, Montreal, New York, Detroit and beyond. Known for his power and patience at the plate, Rusty became an All-Star for three different Clubs and a fan favorite. He played a memorable role in the early franchise histories of the Astros and the Expos, and he starred for the Mets in the 1973 World Series.
"Rusty was a superb ambassador for our sport and a generous individual known for community efforts, particularly for the New York City Police and Fire Departments. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Rusty's family and friends, Mets fans and his many other admirers in the United States and Canada."
Staub made his big-league debut with the Houston Colt .45's only eight days after his 19th birthday in 1963. He played for the Colt .45's, Astros, Expos (two stints), Mets (two stints), Tigers and Rangers. Staub retired as a career .279/.362/.431 hitter with 292 home runs and 2,716 hits.
A six-time All-Star, Staub received MVP votes in seven different seasons, finishing as high as fifth in the voting. He never did win a World Series ring, however. Staub's only career postseason appearance came with the 1973 Mets, who lost the World Series to the Athletics in seven games. He spent seven years on the Hall of Fame ballot from 1991-97, but did not receive enough support for induction into Cooperstown.