“Rusty Staub was our country’s first major league superstar. He may have only played three-and-a-half seasons with the Montreal Expos, but he gave his heart and soul to the franchise and to the city of Montreal. He immersed himself in the city’s culture as much as any Expo and the fans loved him for it. It was evident when he returned to Canada for his induction into our Hall of Fame in 2012 that part of his heart still belonged to the city of Montreal and its baseball fans. Today is a sad day. We’ll miss Le Grande Orange, but we’ll never forget him.”
— Scott Crawford, Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame director of operations
Daniel Joseph Staub, born April 1, 1944 in New Orleans, LA, and nicknamed “Rusty” for his red hair, was affectionately known as “Le Grand Orange” to Expos fans for the same reason. Staub wore the Expos uniform in three of his six All-Star games, in 1969, 1970 and 1971. He also toiled for the Expos in 1979. The left-handed slugger played a total of 518 games for the Expos, amassing 531 hits, 81 homeruns, 284 RBI, 24 stolen bases, and compiling a fourth best all-time .295 batting average, a .402 on-base percentage (1st), a .497 slugging percentage (2nd) and an .899 OPS (2nd). His attempts to learn the French language and his charitable work off the field endeared him to the French-Canadian fans, as did his play on the field. His uniform number (10) was first jersey ever retired by the Expos. In 1972, Expos traded Staub to the Mets for Ken Singleton, Tim Foli, and Mike Jorgenson, a trio that flourished with the Expos for years to follow.
Staub is the only player in Major League history to chalk up more than 500 hits for four different teams (Houston, Montreal, Detroit, New York Mets). He, along with Ty Cobb and Gary Sheffield, are the only players ever to hit a homerun in the major leagues before the age of 20 and after the age of 40. The burly outfielder/first baseman hit at least one homerun in 23 consecutive seasons, third-best all-time behind Ricky Henderson (25) and Cobb (24). Staub’s 2,951 games played rank him 13th all-time in the history of MLB.
“It’s very gratifying to be recognized as a special player, especially when the award is of such ilk,” said Staub from his home in West Palm Beach, Florida.
“For me, it’s even more special because of my relationships with so many people in Montreal, Quebec and all over Canada. I have shared some great memories of my career during the time the Expos introduced Major League baseball to Canada. My first three years in Montreal were great times. To help establish our franchise all over Canada was one of the fondest periods of my career. I sincerely would like to thank the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for honouring me.”