It was on this day in 1972 that the Montreal Expos traded the franchise’s first star, as Rusty Staub was sent to the Mets for a three-player package consisting of Ken Singleton, Mike Jorgensen, and Tim Foli. All three players ended up being productive regulars during their time in Montreal, so it didn’t turn out to be a bad swap for the Expos, as much as fans missed having “Le Grand Orange” in the lineup. Montreal’s loss was New York’s gain, as Staub hit .276/.361/.428 over 2263 PA with the Mets from 1972-75 and also delivered a huge performance during the Mets’ playoff run in 1973. Staub had a 1.096 OPS over 46 postseason plate appearances that year, and quite possibly could have been World Series MVP had New York beaten the Athletics in the seven-game Fall Classic. Staub ended up playing nine of his 23 seasons in a Mets uniform, returning for a second stint with the franchise from 1981-85.
Some more from Queens….
- A reunion between Matt Harvey and the Mets doesn’t seem likely, as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo writes that the Amazins “weren’t interested” in Harvey over the offseason and he doesn’t believe the club has been in contact with the right-hander. Given some of the off-the-field controversy that surrounded Harvey during his previous tenure in New York, it probably isn’t a surprise that the Mets have seemingly closed the door on their former All-Star. Aside from a tryout with the Blue Jays earlier this winter, Harvey hasn’t been publicly linked to any teams since his minor league deal with the Athletics expired at the end of the season. Harvey has posted a 5.89 ERA over 307 1/3 innings with the Mets, Reds, and Angels since undergoing thoracic outlet syndrome surgery midway through the 2016 season.
- The Mets announced Friday that a financial aid program had been developed for seasonal game-day staff members. The $1.2MM fund will be mostly given out in the form of “need-based grants” for staffers who directly work for the Mets, while remaining money will be divided among subcontracted workers (employed by Aramark, Impark, and Alliance) who serve in various roles around the ballpark.
- Left-hander Steven Matz is also helping COVID-19 relief efforts, announcing (Twitter links) that his TRU32 charity is donating $32K to first responders and hospitals in New York. The organization’s first donation is going Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, located less than three miles from Citi Field.