Sunday, June 24, 2012

Don Gutteridge Sculpture Underway

Pittsburg, Kansas baseball legend Don Gutteridge would have celebrated his 100th birthday June 19. The Gutteridge Foundation had dreamed of unveiling a lifesize bronze sculpture of Gutteridge (1912-2008) inside the entrance at JayCee Ballpark, nominal home of the Don Gutteridge League and youth baseball in Pittsburg, on his birthday.

The Gutteridge Foundation chose three sculpture options for donors: 1) Gutteridge, bat in his right hand, kneeling on his first day as a St. Louis Cardinal; 2) Gutteridge swinging later in his career; 3) fan-submitted photos.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound infielder made his Major League debut Sept. 7, 1936 and his 12-year career at second base, third base and shortstop ended on May 9, 1948.

Gutteridge made stops with the St. Louis Browns (1942-1945), the St. Louis Cardinals (1936-1940), the Boston Red Sox (1946-1947) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (1948) — finishing his career with a .256 batting average, 200 doubles, 64 triples, 39 home runs, 391 RBI and 95 stolen bases.

Three times over his 12-year career, Gutteridge finished in the Top 20 of the American League MVP race — 17th in 1942, 18th in 1943 and 19th in 1944, all years he played on the Browns.

He played in the 1944 and 1946 World Series, 1944 with the Browns and 1946 with the Red Sox, both against his former team of the St. Louis Cardinals. Gutteridge batted .192 (5-for-26) with one double and one RBI and was the first batter in the all-St. Louis World Series of 1944.

Gutteridge played alongside 12 Hall-of-Famers during his career: Walter Alston, Dizzy Dean, Bobby Doerr, Leo Durocher, Rick Ferrell, Frankie Frisch, Jesse Haines, Ralph Kiner, Joe Medwick, Johnny Mize, Enos Slaughter and Ted Williams.

He later managed the Chicago White Sox during the 1969 and 1970 seasons after coaching in the White Sox organization for nearly 20 years. Gutteridge worked as a scout for the Kansas City Royals, the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers, finishing his baseball career with six World Series rings.

Through it all, he never forgot his true home was Pittsburg, Kansas. For more information, please check out

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