One of my all-time favorite interview subjects during my 22 years as a working reporter died Sunday at age 96.
I first met Don Gutteridge when he spoke in the Lamar Middle School cafeteria in the 1980s when I was managing editor at the Lamar Democrat. He entertained the crowd with stories about the golden age of baseball, and then was kind enough to sit for nearly a half hour answering my questions. Unfortunately, I no longer have a copy of that interview.
As Globe reporter Jim Henry notes in his article, Mr. Gutteridge was the last survivor of the fabled Gashouse Gang of the St. Louis Cardinals, a take-no-prisoners group, which won two world championships, and that his death occurred 72 years to the day after he made his major league debut with the Cardinals.
Mr. Gutteridge never played for the Cardinals in the World Series, but played in two World Series against the team, the first all-Missouri World Series in 1944 with the St. Louis Browns, and two years later as a member of the Boston Red Sox. The Cardinals won both series. I believe Mr. Gutteridge was also the last survivor of that 1944 St. Louis Browns team. Three of the Cardinals from that series, Stan Musial, Danny Litwhiler, and Marty Marion, are still alive.
Mr. Gutteridge later managed the Chicago White Sox and when he visited Lamar in the 1980s, he was a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers.