Adding to my long-running 1971 "Minor League Days" sub-set, today the blog offers up a card for Rusty Staub, who was a 20-year-old who already had some full-time Big League action when this photo was taken in 1964:
And for those last five seasons with the Mets, he became one of the top pinch-hitters in the game and endeared himself to the Met faithful, even opening up a couple of well-liked restaurants in NYC along the way.
A few little "extras" about his career: Staub is one of three players (along with Ty Cobb and Gary Sheffield) to hit home runs as a teenager and as a 40-year old, and he is also the only player to amass 500 hits with four different teams (Astros, Mets, Expos and Tigers).
He was also the first player to play all 162 games in a season strictly as a Designated Hitter, which was for Detroit in 1978.
To me, he is a Hall of Famer who deserves a spot in Cooperstown.