The Obit For Ray Cunningham

Ray Cunningham, once among oldest living MLB players, dies at 100


9:58 a.m. August 1, 2005

HOUSTON – Ray Cunningham, who played briefly with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1931 and 1932 and was among the oldest living former Major League Baseball players, died at 100.
Cunningham died Saturday at a convalescent home in suburban Pearland, Milton Holmes, operations manager with Forest Park Lawndale Funeral Home, told The Associated Press on Monday.

He played three games with the Cardinals in 1931 and 11 games the next season. He roomed with Hall of Famers Dizzy Dean and Pepper Martin in spring training but was injured in the 1932 season.

"He got hurt in St. Louis, fielding a swinging bunt, when he made a snap throw to first base," son Gary Cunningham said in Monday's Houston Chronicle. "And that was it."

Raymond Lee Cunningham was born Jan. 17, 1905, in Mesquite and signed in 1926 with the Cardinals. His minor league stops included Greenville; Topeka, Kan.; Dayton, Ohio; and Danville, Ill., before being called up by the Cardinals late in the 1931 season, his son said.

Cunningham played in 1932 for the Houston Buffs and for teams in Tyler and Palestine in 1933 and 1934 but gave up pro baseball at 29. He then worked for 40 years in the beverage industry.

He threw out the first pitch at an Astros-Cardinals game in 1992 at the Astrodome and at a 2002 game at Minute Maid Park.

"He would either watch or listen to the Astros every night," Gary Cunningham said.

In addition to his son, he is survived by daughter Wanda Wiser.

Services are scheduled for Tuesday, with burial Wednesday in Mesquite.