Expos legend Rusty Staub in critical condition

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By Danny Gallagher

Canadian Baseball Network

Pray and pray for Rusty Staub.

The Expos' first hero and an endearing figure in the minds of Expos' fans is reported to be in critical condition at a hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame member has kidney problems and reports say he's not responding to dialysis.

Bill Madden of the New York Daily News reported that his good friend had initially sustained a staph infection and has been in hospital on and off for the last month.

Staub, 73, was acquired in a trade by the Expos before their inaugural 1969 season began from the Houston Astros. He played three seasons in Montreal and was the Expos' early-franchise hero known as Le Grand Orange.

Staub was traded to the New York Mets following the 1971 season but returned to the Expos in a  trade in July of 1979.

Staub, a lifelong bachelor, has had a home in West Palm Beach for many years. He was the first Expo to have his number retired. His No. 10 was retired and Andre Dawson later had his No. 10 retired by the Expos.

Danny Gallagher

Danny was born in Ted Lindsay's hometown of Renfrew, Ont. but his roots are in nearby Douglas. He played 27 consecutive seasons of top-level amateur baseball in the senior ranks in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec and thrived on organizing events himself, the major one being the highly successful 1983 Canadian senior men's tournament in Sudbury. He began covering the Montreal Expos in 1988 when he joined the Montreal Daily News. Later, he was the Expos beat writer for the Ottawa Sun and Associated Press. He has written four baseball books, including Remembering the Montreal Expos, which he co-authored with Bill Young of Hudson, Que. Gallagher and Young are currently working on a book about the ill-fated 1994 Expos squad. Gallagher can be reached here: dannogallagher@rogers.com