Former Houston Astro and MLB all-star Rusty Staub dies at 73 on opening day

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Rusty Staub, former Colt .45 and Houston Astro, passes away in Flordia (KTRK)

Longtime New York Mets hitter Rusty Staub, who tallied 2,716 hits in a 23-year baseball career, died Thursday at the age of 73.

Staub played for five major league teams from 1963 to 1985, including a pair of stints in New York. He also made All-Star appearances for the Houston Astros, Montreal Expos and Detroit Tigers, and played one season with the Texas Rangers.

The Astros released a statement on Staub's death, saying:

"We send our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, former teammates and many fans of Rusty Staub, who sadly passed away this morning. As a member of Colt .45s and Astros from 1963-68, Rusty was one of the first stars in the club's history and played a significant role in establishing the franchise in its early years. An extremely popular player in Houston, Rusty earned All-Star honors in both 1967-68. His contributions to the Astros organization and to Major League Baseball overall will always be remembered."

Staub spent six seasons in Houston.

He was a career .279 hitter with 292 home runs and 1,466 RBIs to go along with the 2,716 hits.
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In their first ever regular season game, the Houston Colt .45s defeated the Chicago Cubs, 11-2.

After his playing career, Staub gave back to New York firefighters and police officers through the Rusty Staub Foundation, raising millions for the families of first responders killed in the line of duty.
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