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Pat Gillick is the Baseball Hall of Fame’s first Eagle Scout

Long before he won three World Series titles, Pat Gillick received another hard-earned prize: Eagle Scout.

Now, 60 years after joining the elite few who earn Scouting’s highest honor, Gillick enters another exclusive club: the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Last month, the former baseball executive became the first Eagle Scout in Cooperstown. He joins fellow 2011 inductees Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven.

But before Gillick embarked on a 27-year career as general manager of the Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners, and Phillies, he was a Scout in Troop 30 in California.

He attended Camp Whitsett in the Giant Sequoia National Monument, took two 36-mile treks in the Sierra Nevadas, and earned the Eagle Scout Award two months before his 14th birthday.

But his Scouting career didn’t stop there. He remained active in the Order of the Arrow, even dancing at the 1954 National Order of the Arrow Conference in Wyoming. Later, he earned Vigil, the OA’s highest honor.

As a baseball executive, his teams won 2,776 games and three World Series titles: 1992 and 1993 with the Blue Jays and 2008 with the Phillies.

Gillick, who turned 74 this week, left the game on a high note when he retired after the 2008 championship.

Looking back on his time in Scouting, he offered these words to writer Marty Tschetter in Memories and Dreams magazine:

“I remember a lot of campfires and fellowship. Scouting taught me how to get along with people,” he said.

“There are a lot of different people with different personalities and diverse cultures. In baseball, there are a lot of people who don’t have all the talent and for some reason they are over-achievers. I think it proves that if you work hard and are diligent and focused, you have a chance to be successful.”

Eagle Scouts and Baseball

Gillick may be the only Eagle Scout in the Hall of Fame, but he’s not the only Eagle with ties to Major League Baseball. Here are a few others:

  • Howard Lincoln, CEO of the Seattle Mariners, earned eagle in 1955.
  • Albert Belle, the five-time All-Star, earned Eagle in 1981.
  • Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles pitcher, earned Eagle in 1994.
  • Shane Victorino, two-time All-Star and 2008 World Series champion, earned Eagle in 1996.

5 Comments on Pat Gillick is the Baseball Hall of Fame’s first Eagle Scout

  1. Christopher Roy // August 24, 2011 at 11:12 am // Reply

    If Pat has not yet received it, he definitely qualifies as a “Distinguished Eagle Scout”. He surely should be nominated for this honor.

  2. I was just reading the article about Pat Gillick’s entrance into the Hall and a name came to mind. If I’m not mistaken, isn’t Hank Aaron also an Eagle Scout?

    • Jack, some online bios say he’s an Eagle Scout, but the word I just got from the director of the National Eagle Scout Association is that he’s not listed in the BSA’s official database of Eagles. He is, however, a recipient of the prestigious Silver Buffalo Award.

      -Bryan

  3. Doug Richard // August 29, 2011 at 11:04 am // Reply

    The vigil honor is bestowed not earned. Anyone know what is Vigil Honor name is?

  4. To set the record straight on Hank Aaron, he, along with Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda and others did several promotional advertisements for the Boy Scouts in the early 70’s. Their photos were taken in scout uniforms with the premise that any boy could grow up to be an Eagle Scout. Although, they weren’t exactly noted as being Eagle Scouts, it has been wrongly assumed by many that they were Eagles and often their names are included on lists containing famous Eagles. This is through no fault of their own and they remained great promoters of the scouting movement. Note that all such lists are “unofficial”, however, many people continue to make reference to these lists at Court of Honors and other Scouting events. Politicians, not in the know, are notorious for this. Often John Glenn and Bill Gates are also mistakenly noted as having achieved Scouting’s highest award, as well.

4 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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