And 60 years after joining the elite few who earn Scouting’s highest honor, Gillick entered another exclusive club: the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In 2011, 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 attending 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, 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.”
Eagles in the Majors:
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.
Thanks to Scouting Magazine Senior Editor, Bryan Wendell for first expertly reporting on this story.