Rusty Staub and Bill Laxton for Mickey Lolich and Billy Baldwin

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Date: December 12, 1975
Team: Detroit Tigers
Sent: Rusty Staub, Bill Laxton
Received: Mickey Lolich, Billy Baldwin

The Mets and Tigers got together for a trade in December of 1975. Outfielder Rusty Staub and pitcher Bill Laxton were sent to the Detroit team for pitcher Mickey Lolich and outfielder Billy Baldwin. The departure of the popular Staub was ill-received by Mets fans.

Rusty had been a successful player for the Mets from 1972 to 1975. He had 540 hits, including 62 home runs, during his time with the team. In ’75, Staub became the first player in Mets history to have a 100-RBI season. Laxton was a Mets’ minor leaguer who had minimal major league experience.

The veteran Lolich had a successful 13-year career as a Tiger. Mickey had 207 wins, set an all-time lefthander’s record of 2679 strikeouts and won a World Series MVP award. Baldwin played in 30 games for the Tigers in ‘75.

Both Lolich and Baldwin played only the 1976 season for the Mets. Mickey had an 8-13 won-lost record and posted a 3.22 earned run average with the team. He then went into temporary retirement and joined the San Diego Padres after a year out of baseball. Baldwin spent the ’76 season in the minor leagues before appearing in 9 games for the Mets in September. He had six hits, including a pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning that gave the Mets a 4-3 victory over the Cubs at Shea Stadium on September 24. Billy did not play in the majors after the ’76 season.

Staub played for the Tigers from 1976 to 1979. He batted .277 with 70 homers and 358 RBIs during his four seasons in Detroit. Rusty was the starting right fielder for the American League in the ’76 All-Star Game at Philadelphia. He was traded to the Expos during the ’79 season. Laxton had no wins and five losses for the Tigers in ’76. Bill was taken by the Seattle Mariners in the expansion draft after the season.