Don, 96, passed away with his family and friends by his side in his hometown of Pittsburg, Kan. where he returned each season and remained after his retirement in 1992. His passing came exactly 72 years to the day of his major league debut on Sept. 7, 1936. He had been in good health as of late, but recently experienced some health difficulties.
Don was a very kind person. This past winter I wrote to Don and he not only signed the card I sent to him, but he also penned an extra card and the note I sent and shipped them all to me. This was something he did to everyone who wrote to him. He never big leagued anyone. He attended Royals games when he got the chance and made an appearance at Kauffman last year when he was honored the weekend he was enshrined into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. He had already been inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame several years ago and was a member of eight separate Halls of Fame.
For more on Don, check out http://www.joplinglobe.com/ for the official story about his life and death from my buddy Jim Henry - who knew Don rather well.