Published in Whittier Daily
News on March 29, 2012
was born on April 22, 1934 to Marcelo Gamez and Consuelo Aguirre Gamez.
Born during the Depression Era, Gilbert shared many wonderful memories
with his siblings Lilian, Marcelo, Ernie, Tony and Teddy in the Boyle
Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. Some of his fondest memories were
playing hide and seek at Calvary Cemetery and spending endless hours playing
baseball at Evergreen, Fresno and other parks with his lifelong friends.
For Gilbert, playing baseball was a true joy and passion.
His passion in life transitioned to love when he met Alma Guadalupe Gonzalez
on July 19, 1960 at Aunt Concha's house in South Gate. On their first
date, they attended Armando and Dolores Perez's bridal shower. They often
went to Fresno Park where Gilbert worked in recreation, and Hollenbeck
Park for picnic lunches, various family gatherings and of course many
baseball games. On September 22, 1962, they married and not long after
became proud parents to Carol, Gina, and Gilbert.
Gilbert's accomplishments as a professional baseball player, umpire, coach,
manager and scout provided him excellent opportunities to interact with
others through extended family, the community, other cities, other states,
and other countries. He enjoyed a lifetime of activities that enriched
his interest in baseball and allowed him to guide and help others on and
off the field.
Gilbert was a 6'5" catcher and first baseman when he played professionally
in the '50s and '60s with a batting average of over 300. The professional
teams he played on were the Boise Braves, Paris Orioles, Phoenix Stars,
Portland Beavers, Salem Senators, Salt Lake City Bees and Stockton Ports.
He also treasured playing many years with the Carmelita Chorizeros and
added several more trophies to his expansive collection.
In the late '70s, Gilbert was the Manager of the Sultanes Professional
Baseball Team from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico where he lead the team
to a Championship and was awarded a championship ring. His love of managing
continued with the Algodoneros from San Luis, Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico
where the team placed 2nd in their Division. He also coached for many
professional teams in Northeast leagues and Canada. Gilbert had the pleasure
of working as a domestic and international scout for the Seattle Mariners,
California Angles, and Montreal Expos. His travel to Seoul Korea allowed
him to assist placing Korean players with Mexican teams.
In his later years, while living in La Mirada, California, he was surrounded
by his children; grandchildren Xavier, Alejandro, Jorge, Kimberly and
Amanda; son-in-laws Nery and Paul; and daughter-in-law Laurie, he was
able to help out the local baseball team of Biola University. His last
baseball travel was when he and his wife Alma accompanied the Biola University
team to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Gilbert appears in two books written about Mexican American baseball players
in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire. The books were written by Dr. Francisco
E. Balderrama and Dr. Richard A. Santillan through the Latino Baseball
History Project, CSULA and CSUSB. In addition, Gilbert and other baseball
players were given certificates of recognition by the City of Los Angeles
Council in a special ceremony in September 2007.
Gilbert and Alma have always been united by their love for one another
and it will continue through eternity.
Gilbert was a beloved and loyal son, brother, husband, father, grandfather
and friend. His children and wife always knew his passion was baseball
but it was his family that was the true love in his life.
Viewing will begin at 9:15am on Friday, March 30, 2012 at Beatitudes of
Our Lord Church, 13013 Santa Gertrudes Ave., La Mirada, CA. The Rosary
will be led at 10:00am followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30.
Burial will take place at Olive Lawn Memorial Park, also in La Mirada.