Donald (Don) Loren Gile was born on April 19, 1935, in Modesto, California. He was the son of the late Victor and Dora Gile and brother to Ron Gile. Don passed-away of natural causes March 5, 2021.
To plant a memorial tree in honor of Donald Loren Gile, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
Don attended the Baywood School in San Mateo, CA for eight years, and then San Mateo High School. The 1952 high school yearbook described Gile (pronounced Gee-Lee) as “the (baseball) team’s power hitter.” After graduation, he attended the University of Arizona. He’d had great success playing baseball in college, batting .516 in 1954.
Don was signed as an amateur free agent by the Boston Red Sox before the 1955 season. He spent his first two years in pro ball with the San Jose Red Sox hitting .328 in 1955 and .265 with 19 home runs in 1956. 1957 found him with the Greensboro Patriots where the tall catcher got into 51 games with 11 homers. Don blossomed in 1958 with the Allentown Red Sox hitting .274 along with 23 home runs and catching for the All-Star team. One of the tallest catchers in big league history at 6' 6", he hit in 58 games from 1959 to 1962, and saw most of his playing time in the late 1950s and early 1960s with the AAA Minneapolis Millers and the Seattle Rainiers. On September 30, 1962, two years and two days after Ted Williams homered in his final major league at bat, Don hit the third and last home run of his Red Sox career in what turned out to be his last plate appearance in the majors. It was a walk-off homerun that gave Boston a 3-1 win over the [1962 Senators (Washington Senators)]. Don played nine years in pro ball and closed out his career in 1963 with the Pacific Coast League Seattle and Tacoma clubs.
At the end of his baseball career, he entered the pharmaceutical industry. Naturally, Don’s having been known as a former ballplayer helped in sales work. Beginning his career with Upjohn for four years then Squibb pharmaceutical for six years. He then worked for a German company just starting in the United States, Boehringer Ingelheim, and worked with them as vice president for about six years. That was followed by work as national sales manager for Oral B Laboratories, the dental company. He finished his career in home health care with Olsten Health Care Services as a National Accounts Manager for the Western United States until he retired in 1998.
He is survived by Eileen, his wife of seven years and his four children; Donald Robert Gile of Redwood City, CA; Richard Allen Gile of Newark, CA; Stacy Gile Watson of San Carlos, CA and Darren Friedel. Other survivors include his four stepchildren; Scott Borland of Long Island, NY; Jeff Borland of Plano, TX; Victor Borland of Stillwater, OK; Jana Borland King of Bixby, OK; and their families.
Memorial donations may be made to the University of Arizona Athletic Department https://give.uafoundation.org/baseball (comment that donation is “in Memory of Don Gile”) or the Wounded Warriors Project http://woundedwarriorproject.org/.