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Happy birthday Rusty Staub! (with a few “fun card” submissions)

1972 Topps Staub

Today is April 1st, but I don’t have a joke to tell you. It is also Rusty Staub‘s birthday, and thanks to TWJ contributor Patrick, I have a few “fun cards” to share.

1972 Topps Traded Staub

In 1972 and 1973, Staub did not appear in any Topps products due to some sort of disagreement. No base cards, no Traded card to mark his move from Montreal to Queens, nothing. Thanks to the internet and customized baseball cards, fans have plenty of options to print out and slide into their 1972 and 1973 binders. And now, they have three more options.

1973 Topps Staub

I’m a bit biased, but I like the cards here a bit more than what is already out there. Thanks for the submission, Patrick, and happy birthday, Rusty Staub!

The Ceremonial First Pitch

One of the neatest things baseball teams do is the “ceremonial first pitch,” often honoring past stars or community leaders. One of the highest honors someone can receive is to be asked to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day. Here is a run-down of some of yesterday’s ceremonial first pitch honorees:

Lou Piniella took the mound before the Yankees-Red Sox game.

Rusty Staub tossed the ball before the Mets opener.

Former big leaguer Joe Torre was asked to throw the first pitch before the Reds-Angels game. This one doesn’t make any sense to me since Torre has no connection to either organization.

Brandon Webb was honored by the Diamondbacks.

Bo knows first pitches…Bo Jackson did not wear a jersey when he threw out the first pitch before the White Sox-Royals game in Chicago.

Medal of Honor recipient Army Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha was the Nationals’ choice to throw the first pitch in Washington.

Future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones returned to the field in Atlanta.

My favorite, though, was Sandy Koufax for the Dodgers with Orel Hershiser catching. Watch the video below and prepare to smile.

Retired Numbers: #10

This group includes a few of the most hotly debated Hall of Famers in Dawson, Rizzuto, and Santo.

Dick Howser, Kansas City Royals

The first person honored with a retired number by the Royals, Howser led the team to a championship in 1985. As the manager of the league champion, Howser was named the manager of the 1986 AL All-Star squad. That would be his final game as he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and could no longer perform his duties. He attempted a comeback in 1987, but was too weak. He passed in June 1987.

Andre Dawson, Montreal Expos

Phil Rizzuto, New York Yankees

Ron Santo, Chicago Cubs

Rusty Staub, Montreal Expos

Sparky Anderson, Cincinnati Reds

The most Astronomical non-Hall of Famers of Houston

The Angels have already been covered, and the A’s are currently being discussed. Next up is the Blue Jays…but how about them Astros?

My picks:
C: Johnny Edwards
1B: Jeff Bagwell
2B: Bill Doran
SS: Denis Menke
3B: Doug Rader
LF: Jose Cruz
CF: Cesar Cedeno
RF: Jimmy Wynn
sub1: Rusty Staub
sub2: Glenn Davis
LHP: Mike Cuellar
SP: J.R. Richard
SP: Mike Scott
#4 SP: Joe Niekro
#5 SP: Joaquin Andujar

The top picks of the BBF think tank:
C: Johnny Edwards
1B: Jeff Bagwell
2B: Bill Doran
SS: Dickie Thon
3B: Doug Rader
LF: Jose Cruz
CF: Cesar Cedeno
RF: Jimmy Wynn
LHP: Mike Cuellar
P: J.R. Richard
P: Joe Niekro
P: Larry Dierker
P: Mike Scott
RP: Dave Smith
sub1: Bob Watson
sub2: Rusty Staub

Cruz and Cedeno were the only ones selected at their positions on all ballots cast; Wynn was named on all ballots, but not always as RF. Richard received 12 of 13 votes, while Andujar received only mine.

Other players mentioned during the voting included Alan Ashby, Ken Caminiti, Bob Knepper and Bo Belinsky.

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