Cooperstown Chronicles – Rusty Staub

Feb 26, 2008

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Rusty Staub is another one suggested by Favre is overrated 2007, a friend of mine from the Sporting News community.  I’ve decided to review his numbers and offer my opinion to his Hall of Fame worthiness.

Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated/Icon SMI

The Numbers
2951 Games (12th All-time)
9720 At Bats (31st All-time)
.279 Batting Average
1189 Runs
2716 Hits (53rd All-time)
499 Doubles (47th All-time)
47 Triples
292 Home Runs
1466 RBI (50th All-time)
4185 Total Bases (61st All-time)
838 Extra Base Hits (74th All-time)
1255 Walks (43rd All-time)

World Series - 7 games, 11 hits in 26 at bats (.423), 1 runs, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 6 RBI, .615 Slugging %

The Awards
6 All-Star Games
MVP votes in 7 seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Slugging % – Once
Games – Six times (Led league in ’71 & ’76)
At Bats – Twice
Runs – Twice
Hits – Four times
Doubles - Six times (Led league in ’67)
Home Runs – Once
Total Bases – Four times
RBI – Four times
Exta-base Hits – Seven times
Walks – Six times
Hit by Pitch – Five times
Intentional Walks – Seven times

Rusty has solid career numbers.  He’s among the leaders in most offensive categories.  My problem with Rusty is not only was he never the best of his era, he doesn’t even have a signature season that proved he could dominate.  He never had more than 182 hits, 98 runs, or 30 HRs.  He did hit over .300 a few times, but never finished higher than fifth in that category.  He had one season where he drove in 121 runs (one of his three 100+ RBI years), but he only hit .273 that year with 75 runs, 30 doubles, and 24 HRs.  He wasn’t a threat on the basepaths nor a dominant defensive players.  He’s one of the first in line for Hall of Good, Hall of Longevity, or Hall of Weird Nicknames (Le Grand Orange), but a Hall of Famer he is not.


Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Dave Concepcion
Lou Whitaker
Alan Trammell
Ron Santo
Ron Guidry
Gil Hodges
Dave Parker
Tony Mullane
Keith Hernandez
Don Mattingly
Dwight Evans
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Harold Baines
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Joe Carter

Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |
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9 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Larry Novak
    February 26th, 2008 at 4:16 pm #

    Good review
    Rusty was a real good player, I would say Borderline.
    But without a couple of Domiant season and just a OK fielder.
    I would put him in the Hall Of Pretty Darn Good.

  2. Ryan Lester
    February 26th, 2008 at 9:35 pm #

    Larry – agree

  3. BraystreetLad
    December 31st, 2008 at 9:06 am #

    Good player,supposedly a top-flight chef,and a good guy(though the New
    Orleanian once,in praising an African-American Astros teammate,called
    him the “N” word,for which he immediately apologized,both to the player,
    the other African-Americans on the club and the team in general,and he
    enjoyed many fine friendships with blacks afterwards.)
    However,”Le Grande Orange,”as Montreal Expos fans dubbed him,is a few
    shades short of HOF quality.

  4. LestersLegends
    December 31st, 2008 at 9:15 am #

    Bray – agree he comes up short

  5. Cooperstown Chronicles - Waite Hoyt | 1800blogger
    May 20th, 2009 at 2:19 pm #

    [...] Ron Santo Curt Schilling Red Schoendienst* (Player/Manager) Ted Simmons Enos Slaughter* Lee Smith Rusty Staub Vern Stephens Dave Stieb Mel Stottlemyre Harry Stovey Sam Thompson Luís Tiant Joe Torre Alan [...]

  6. Sue Withee
    October 22nd, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    Put Rusty Staubin, he’s an icon on and off the field. He is a consistant Gentleman , does no harm. He’d have my vote.

  7. bigfly99
    January 20th, 2010 at 6:16 am #

    I think you’re missing the point about Staub. He was an All-Star player during an era of great future Hall of Famers. Most of the statistics for which you downgrade him were compiled while playing in decidedly pitchers parks (Astrodome and Shea).
    Look at his 1967 season — it’s as signature as many’s, especially when you consider the era (1968 was the greatest pitching season of the past 60 years).
    Rusty’s “problem” was that he was traded several times over the course of his career. Never because his abilities were declining but that he was a DH-type player and carried a hefty salary in later years.
    Injuries and having to play for Sparky Anderson cut into his playing time from 1979-on, otherwise he might have hit some of the statistical milestones that would have garnered him more HofF consideration.
    A Hall of Fame career? Maybe not, but a lot closer than most people realize if you look behind the numbers.

  8. Joel Hueston
    March 1st, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    Some great points were made in here. I was a big fan of Rusty’s throughout his career and although I have a hard time saying he “should” be in the HOF I do struggle with some of the players who are with numbers that are not as good as Staub’s. My list includes Gary Carter, Richie Ashburn, Luis Aparicio, Carlton Fisk, Ryne Sandberg, Bill Mazeroski, Pee Wee Reese and Phil Rizzuto. Staub may not be an obvious choice for the HOF but he deserves to be there more than some who made it.

  9. LestersLegends
    March 2nd, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    bigfly – point taken
    joel – you’re comparing him to catches and middle infielders, with the exception of Richie Ashburn. Whitey was a .308 career hitter though and he gets a bump, fair or not, for being a whiz kid.

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