Vancouver’s Gerry Gilmore excelled in three sports as one of Canada’s best all-round athletes of the 1950s and 1960s with a unique drive to be the best and a fierce will to win.
“I always said that if I’m in a flat race, I’ll probably come in last, but if you roll a ball in front of me, I’ll get to it before you do.”
Growing up in a lacrosse-mad family, when Gerry couldn’t find a boys team that would let her play, she turned to basketball, softball, and field hockey.
Gerry played point guard for the Vancouver Eilers, the dominant women’s basketball team in Canada during the 1950s that won nine straight national championships. She helped the Eilers to two of those titles and a third in 1960 when the team changed its name to the Richmond Merchants.
In softball, Gerry was one of Canada’s best fielders at second base and a strong hitter. She played the entire 1960 Vancouver Senior A Women’s League season without committing an error and was named a Pacific Northwest League all-star. She helped the Crowhurst Motors and South Hill Queens reach five World Women’s Softball Championships. Later she played in four Canadian championship tournaments in five years with Vancouver/Victoria teams, highlighted in 1966 when she was named a national all-star. Over her career, she led her teams to a remarkable 11 BC championships.
In field hockey, Gerry played for Canada internationally at the 1959 and 1963 IFWHA world tournaments, serving as Canada’s vice-captain in the latter. Also in 1963, Gerry served as Canadian vice-captain in the Three Nations Tournament and later captained the Canada West team to the Canadian championship in 1966.
Written and researched by Jason Beck, Curator of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
To read more on the career of Gerry Gilmore, please see the May 2022 Curator’s Corner article here: https://bcsportshall.com/curator-corner/gerry-gilmore-always-first-to-the-ball-2021-inductee-spotlight/