Former Houston Astro Rusty Staub dies on Opening Day at age 73

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The right fielder, designated hitter and first baseman played for Houston, the Montreal Expos, New York Mets, Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers from 1963 - 1985.

Staub, who would have celebrated his 74th birthday Sunday, died of multiple organ failure in Palm Beach, Fla., according to The New York Daily News. His Rusty Staub Foundation donated more than $100 million to the widows and children of NY policeman and firefigherts killed in the line of duty, including on 9/11.

He is survived by brother Chuck and sisters Sue Tully and Sally Johnson. But that changed his life and turned him into a true New Yorker.

He tied a major league league with 25 pinch-hit RBI and is the only player ever to have 500 hits with four different teams. So a bunch of us went over and I got to see my first hockey game.

Staub, who split time between first base and right field, was traded to the Mets in 1972 as part of a blockbuster deal that included fellow utility player Mike Jorgensen, shortstop Tim Foli and outfielder Ken Singleton.

His health had been deteriorating since 2015, when he suffered a heart attack on a flight from Ireland to the United States.

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He was traded to the expansion Montreal Expos before the 1969 season and quickly became a fan favorite, learning French and picking up the nickname "Le Grande Orange" for his now-famous locks. But maybe he had some more good for me to do. The charity also served millions of meals to the hungry at food pantries in NY.

He finally decided on a $100,000 bonus from the new Houston Colt.45s, who were preparing for their inaugural season in 1962.

Staub also opened two restaurants in Manhattan. He earned a place in Mets fans' hearts forever as he helped the club rise from 11 ½ games out on August 5, 1973 to Game 7 of the World Series. He also served the Mets as a goodwill ambassador.

He was named to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.

NY traded Staub to Detroit in December 1975 and he made his final All-Star team with the Tigers in 1976.

Since 1983, Mark Herrmann has coveredBrookhaven, Southampton and East Hampton on the news side, and high schools, the Islanders, the Mets and golf for Newsday sports.His assignments have includedthe Olympics, March Madness, the Triple Crown, Stanley Cup, Super Bowl and World Series.