But in addition to the long hours, train travel had other drawbacks. "When I came up [in 1935], the trains were not air-conditioned," says Terry Moore, who played on the Cardinals' World Series championship teams in 1942 and 1946. "We'd spend a lot of time in the diners, which were air-conditioned by ice. At night, we'd open the windows to get some air, and then wake up covered with soot and cinders."
Moore recalls other rigors of train travel that were unique to the Cardinals organization. "We rarely ever had a day off since [St. Louis owner] Sam Breadon always booked exhibition games on off-days," Moore says. "We were like a carnival, stopping off in towns we'd never heard of to play exhibitions.
"I recall playing a doubleheader in Pittsburgh on a Sunday in late August in 1941, while we were in a pennant race with the Dodgers, then riding the train all night to play a morning exhibition game in Stamford, Connecticut, against a semi-pro team. After the morning game, we got back on the train and rode on to Boston, where our cars were uncoupled and we were shunted to a siding so we could get some more sleep before playing another game that same afternoon."
For the Cardinals, as with some other clubs, the special railroad cars served as hotels during spring training. For many years before the era of air travel, the New York Giants and Cleveland Indians spent several weeks barnstorming in the early spring, traveling aboard a train that included four Pullman cars—two for each club—along with two diners and two baggage cars. In many towns, the players dressed aboard the trains and walked to the ballparks.
"The train was a rolling clubhouse," says broadcaster Mel Allen, who traveled with the Yankees in the '40s and '50s. "Casey Stengel would roam through the train, delighting passengers with his stories or making speeches in the dining car that just about everyone on the entire train could hear."
Jack Lang, who covered the Dodgers and Mets for the now defunct Long Island Press, and later the Mets for the New York Daily News, says his job was both easier and more difficult in those days. "The players were far more accessible on the trains," Lang says. "In a way, they were a captive audience, and the writers go to know them much better."
But when it came to filing stories, Lang's memories are less rosy. "Quite often you'd have to hurry to catch the train after a game," he says. "So you'd have to write your story on the train. If you left Cincinnati, for example, you'd have an hour and a half to get your story done before the train reached Indianapolis, where a Western Union messenger would be waiting. You had to have it done by then, because there was no other way to reach your office."
Airplanes may run into turbulence, but don't think that train travel was without its rough moments. Hall of Fame shortstop Lou Boudreau, who also managed both the Indians and the Red Sox, says sleeping on trains could be difficult. "You'd hit a bad curve and wake up, or you'd be awakened while going along a bad stretch of track," says Boudreau. He also remembers the time in the late '40s when Bill Veeck, then owner of the Indians, arranged for the team to travel across Lake Michigan from Cleveland to Detroit by lake steamer.
But for Gutteridge, the pleasant memories of team travel via rail live on. "I still remember that clickety-clack," he says. "And someday, when I find the time, I want to get back on the train and take some of the same long trips that we did many years ago. I bet I'll sleep better than ever."