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La. native Rusty Staub, slugger who played 23 seasons, dies at 73
NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Mets say former slugger Rusty Staub has died at 73.
The team said in a statement he died Thursday after an illness in a hospital in West Palm Beach, Florida, hours before the start of the baseball season. A team spokesman says the Mets learned of the death from friends of Staub who were with him at the time.
The New Orleans native was a six-time All-Star and the only player in major league history to have at least 500 hits with four different teams. The orange-haired outfielder became a huge hit with fans in the U.S. and Canada during a career spanning 23 seasons.
Staub played from 1963 to 1985 and finished 284 hits shy of 3,000. Affectionately dubbed "Le Grand Orange" in Montreal, he broke into the majors as a teenager with Houston, lasted into his 40s with the Mets and spent decades doing charity work in the New York area.
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