Jump to content

Recommended Posts

This one hurts to read. If there is one player that epitomizes my young fandom, it is Rusty Staub. Hope he pulls through.


TAMPA — Once again, Rusty Staub is in critical condition and needs our prayers.

The beloved Mets icon and New York philanthropist, who survived a midflight heart attack from Ireland to JFK Airport in October 2015, is again gravely ill in a West Palm Beach, Fla., hospital where he has been suffering from a staph infection that has led to kidney failure for nearly a month now. According to sources, Rusty, who will turn 74 on April 1 — Easter Sunday — collapsed on a golf course last month and was rushed to the hospital in a weakened, dehydrated condition — which quickly deteriorated when his kidneys began to fail.

Until Thursday, doctors were unable to get a grip on the infection. Staub, who has been bedridden and on dialysis throughout, was briefly transferred to a nearby re-hab center. However, he returned to the hospital earlier this week when his blood pressure dropped and he had to be taken off the dialysis.

On Friday, back on the dialysis, Rusty showed some more improvement, but doctors said he was given blood platelets and high doses of antibiotics for the infection that was in multiple parts of his body. He also had to have surgery for large and severe bed sore.

According to a source who visited him in the hospital Thursday, “it was really touch and go on Wednesday but the doctors finally found the cause of the infection and (Thursday) was a better day. His blood pressure was back up and they were able to get him back on dialysis.”

Since retiring from baseball, where he spent nine of 23 seasons with the Mets, from 1972-75 and again from 1981-85, Rusty has become a New York institution, raising millions of dollars for the widows of police, fire fighters and first responders through his Rusty Staub Foundation, and feeding thousands of homeless throughout the city through his Catholic Charities.

The foundation, which in 1986 established the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund, distributed over $11 million in the first 15 years of its existence to the families of New York area police and fire fighters killed in the line of duty, and since the September 11, 2001 attacks, received over $112 million in contributions. On January 8, Staub announced that, in conjunction with Catholic Charities, his foundation had also served 9,043,741 meals to the hungry at food pantries throughout New York over the last 10 years, with funds through his annual wine auction dinner and foundation golf tournament.

The last few years he’s battled a number of health issues, uncomplaining, while forging on with his charity work. He’s on the mat now, fighting for his life, but I prefer to think of him as that relentless, ageless pinch hitter, in the twilight of his career with the Mets, fouling off pitch after pitch, until finally connecting for a clean base hit to deliver the winning run. That’s what you root for now: The inner Rusty who would not be denied.

I last talked to him two weeks ago. I had called him to set a date for our annual spring training dinner at his favorite fish joint, in Juno, Fla., the Reef Grill. He always brings the wine and I buy the dinner, but I always made out better because as we all know, there is no bigger wine connoisseur than Rusty. A few years ago, he was able to get the owner of the Reef Grill on the cover of Wine Spectator.

But now he sounded awful when he answered the phone and I thought, even though it was late morning, I must have just awoken him up“No,” he rasped, “I’m in the hospital. They’re taking me down the hall to dialysis.”“Dialysis?” I said. “What’s wrong? What’s happened?”


“I don’t know. They don’t know,” he said. “It’s a mess.”

He could barely talk and he had to go, but before he hung up, I said: “I’ll call you in a few days and in the meantime I’ll pray you get better quickly. We have a dinner date in mid-March.”

“Your lips to God’s ears,” Rusty said.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...