Although the Mets came away with an Opening Day win, Thursday started off on a somber note with the passing of Daniel “Rusty” Staub at 73 years old.
Rusty had a 23-year career and spent nine seasons playing for the Mets over two different stints. He played an integral part on the “Ya gotta believe!” Mets in ’73 and served as a mentor for the franchises young stars throughout the early ‘80s that later brought home a title in ’86, a year after Rusty retired.
I was born two years after Rusty last took the field and never had the privilege of meeting him. By all accounts he was a great player and an even better person. My memories are limited to the highlight footage I’ve seen over the years, his impressive career stats and testimony from those that knew him best.
I took some time today to read and what watch what was out there in memoriam of Rusty. It made me upset that he played before my time and that our paths never crossed in his post-playing career. It takes a special person to receive this much outpouring of love and affection from teammates, the media and fans all across.
MLB Network remembers the great Rusty Staub. pic.twitter.com/sZhYyUzEGf— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) March 29, 2018
Waking up to the news of Rusty Staub’s passing. Simply put, one of the greatest men I’ve ever met. Enjoyed talking baseball with him so much when I was with the Mets, and truly amazing how much he did for everyone involved with 9/11. RIP Rusty. #LeGrandOrange— Kevin Burkhardt (@kevinburkhardt) March 29, 2018
Rusty Staub, a fan favorite for the New York Mets who played in the majors for more than two decades, has died at 73 https://t.co/Tcjj8dj7GK— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 29, 2018
Rusty Staub stood up for those who weren't even asking him to — because that was his character https://t.co/feha0iImnH— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) March 29, 2018
One cool takeaway from yesterday’s game was that Noah Syndergaard finished with 10 Ks, the same number Rusty wore with the Mets. Maybe that was just a coincidence but I’m choosing to take that as a sign from above.
R.I.P., Rusty. Your legacy will surely live on.
Not only did it seal the victory, Yoenis Céspedes' monster grand slam taught Mets fans a lesson worth remembering this season: Don't panic over a couple of losses. Not with this team.