HR Strange But True!
September 17, 2004

There's Mark Guthrie, the former relief pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, and then there's Mark Guthrie, the former newspaper carrier in Middletown, Connecticut. Aside from their names, you'd think they had little in common. But last fall, they both happened to work for the same corporate parent, which led to a six-figure mix-up in their paychecks.

Someone at the corporate headquarters of the Tribune Co., which owns the Hartford Courant newspaper as well as the Cubs, mistakenly put $301,000 into the bank account of the newspaper carrier Mark Guthrie, when it should have gone into the account of the pitcher Mark Guthrie.

It took more than five weeks for the Cubs to catch the mistake, and then only after the baseball player's agent called, wondering why his client hadn't been paid.

Guthrie (the deliveryman) told the Courant in an interview that he'd been expecting someone to call with an explanation for his suddenly swelled bank account. But after the call came, things turned acrimonious. According to the Cubs, Guthrie, 43, went back on a promise to turn over the money immediately; in December, they went into his account and made a series of withdrawals. They had recovered $275,000 when Guthrie had the bank freeze his account.

Now the Cubs are suing for the remaining $26,000, though they've offered to drop the suit if Guthrie simply pays up.Guthrie told the Courant it's not that simple.

"I need them to open the books to me and show me I don't have any tax liabilities," he said. "It's mind-boggling. They never should have made the mistake to begin with."

Source: The Hartford Courant

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