Don Gutteridge: New Kansas Hall of Famer

The last surviving member of the St. Louis Cardinals Gas House Gang joined the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday.

94-year-old Don Gutteridge was among the eleven notables inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday night in Wichita. He is the eighth oldest living former major leaguer and became the oldest living former St. Louis Cardinal upon the death of Ernie Koy on New Years Day.

Gutteridge was a member of the rough-and-tumble Gas House Gang Cardinals from 1936-1940 and logged four more years with the Browns from 1942-1945, spending by far his most productive years in St. Louis.

The third baseman registered career highs in triples (15), home runs (nine) and RBI (64) in 1938. That same season, Gutteridge was named the fastest man in the National League and over his career, ranked in the top 20 in the league in triples and stolen bases four times.

After leaving the Redbirds, Gutteridge led off the 1944 World Series for the Browns from the second base position as they fell to Billy Southworth's Cardinals in the Streetcar Series. He posted career highs in doubles (35) in 1943 and stolen bases (20) as a Brown in 1944.

Gutteridge played for the Boston Red Sox in the 1946 World Series against the Cardinals. He went 2-for-5 with an RBI as he covered for future Hall-of-Famer Bobby Doerr, who missed Game Six with a migraine.

The Cardinals, led by Harry Brecheen, Harry Walker, Enos Slaughter and Marty Marion won the Series four games to three. But, to show how different this era was, 1946 was the first time ever that the BoSox lost a World Series. Yet until 2004, when they again faced the Cardinals, they weren't destined to win it again.

Gutteridge was sold to the Pirates in March 1948, where he ended his playing days. Overall, he logged a .256 career batting average and .956 fielding percentage, primarily as a second and third baseman. He scored 586 runs and had 200 doubles, 64 triples, 39 home runs and 391 RBIs over 4202 career at-bats.

Following Gutteridge's 12-year playing career, he logged another 40 years as a scout and coach, including 281 games as manager of the Chicago White Sox in 1969 and 1970. He later scouted for the New York Yankees, Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Sunday's recognition was Gutteridge's fourth Hall of Fame induction, with Kansas joining the Missouri, St. Louis Browns and the Columbus, Ohio Baseball Halls of Fame.

Gutteridge was born and continues to live in Pittsburg, Kansas with his wife Helen. The pair have been married 74 years.

Here is hoping Gutteridge, Marion, Musial and all the other former Cardinals greats live many more years. Each represents an important part of the rich history of the Cardinals franchise.

To learn more about Gutteridge, I recommend reading his 2002 hardcover autobiography, "Don Gutteridge: In Words and Pictures". If you're a Cardinals heritage buff, it will be well-worth the read. Copies are orderable from the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society Gift Shoppe here.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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