Before we go and take a look at my Rusty Staub "Nickname" card, I wanted to pay my respects to Sy Berger, the "Father of the Modern Baseball Card", who passed away at the age of 91.
If you don't know much about him, do yourself a favor and at the very least read whatever you can online about the guy who helped design the 1952 Topps set, and pretty much formed the "basics" of what sports cards became.
I got to meet Sy a few times over the years and he was a riot anytime we chatted. Such a nice guy and he will be terribly missed.
Rest in Peace Sy!
Here's one of my favorite nicknames from 1970's baseball: "Le Grand Orange", for former (underrated) all-star Rusty Staub.
Check out my card design:
Now, I know the knee-jerk reaction would be to design a card for Staub as a New York Mets player, but the nickname WAS given to him while he starred for Montreal between 1969 and 1971, so I thought it would be cool to have him as an Expos player.
Besides, I'll always try finding an excuse to design 1971 cards! Love that set…
Staub came up as a 19-year old for the (Then) Houston Colt .45's in 1963, and stuck around the Majors as an active player up until 1985 with the Mets as a pinch-hitter extraordinaire.
In between, the man put together a fantastic 23-year career playing for the Astros, Expos, Mets, Tigers and Rangers, getting named to six all-star teams and garnering some M.V.P. support for every team he played a full season for.
By the time he retired, Staub had over 2700 hits, 499 doubles, 292 home runs, and 1466 runs batted in.
On top of that, he was well-liked wherever he went, and for good reason.
Daniel Joseph "Rusty" Staub, "Le Grand Orange"!
A fan favorite to this day…