PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) – Don Gutteridge, who played for four major league teams and managed the Chicago White Sox in 1969 and 1970, died at his home. He was 96.

He died Sunday after contracting pneumonia about a month ago, son Don Gutteridge Jr. said.

Gutteridge spent 12 years in the majors and made his debut with the St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 7, 1936, 72 years to the day before his death. He also played with the St. Louis Browns, Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox.

He was listed as the seventh-oldest living former player and was the last living St. Louis Brown who played in the 1944 World Series. During that series, he turned five double plays in one game at second base. For his career, he batted .256, playing second and third base. He had 39 home runs and 391 RBIs.

He later was a scout for the Kansas City Royals, the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Baseball was the center of his whole existence,” his son told The Associated Press by phone Monday. “From the time he was a teenager, that was all he ever wanted to do.”

After his retirement, Gutteridge took an interest in youth baseball in his hometown. The JL Hutchinson League last week renamed the intermediate league (ages 13-15) the Don Gutteridge League.

“He was kind of the unofficial mayor of Pittsburg,” his son said. “He was 96, and literally lived his life here. When the season was over he always came back to Pittsburg, Kan.”

Recently, Gutteridge and longtime friend Todd Biggs wrote the book “Getting Started in Baseball: A Guide to Learning and Teaching Baseball in the Early Years.” He and Biggs handed out free copies to every player in the JL Hutchinson League during the summer season.

“Don had a positive impact on every single person he ever met,” Biggs told The Morning Sun in Pittsburg. “No matter how long your conversation is, whenever you left his company, you always felt better about yourself.”


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