Monday, September 8, 2008

On to Valhalla

Don Gutteridge, the last living member of the St. Louis Browns' 1944 pennant-winning team -- has died:
Over his Major League Baseball career, Gutteridge played 16 years for the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Browns, Boston Red Sox and Pittsburg Pirates.

In addition, after retiring as a player, he was the manager of the Chicago White Sox for two years and served as a scout for the Kansas City Royals, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. Over his career, he had 391 RBIs, 39 home runs and had a career batting average of .256, playing both second and third base.

He made his debut with the St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 7, 1936, 72 years to the day before his death.
I wonder what percentage of fans today have no idea that such a beast as the St. Louis Browns once existed. 80%? 90%?


mooseinohio said...

I was recently playing golf and as usual my Red Sox head cover drew some comments from my playing partners and one guy tried to taunt me by saying the Sox were once the Boston Braves and their history wasn't all that special. After I let him embarrass himself for a few minutes by allowing his uninformed diatribe to continue I somewhat politely explained the whole history of the Braves moving to Milwaukee and then everntually to Atlanta. Needless to say conversation was a wee bit strained after that but no biggy we were in different carts and I knew I'd probably never see him again.

I suspect that if we asked the average sports fan under the age of 35 the history of teams such as the Dodgers and Giants most would be unaware they once played in New York. To further reduce the percetnage of folks that could respond knowledgably one could ask the origin of team names such as LA Lakers, Utah Jazz and Calgary Flames let alone any history of the franchises.

Michael said...

I knew of that team very well. There's only a few Cubs players left from the 1945 World Series team - Andy Pafko is one and he's usually around quite a bit. I can't even think about the day when he might not be.