Don Gilbert, at the time of his induction into the Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame, was Canada’s best umpire according to Baseball Canada officials.
Gilbert was born in Windsor on February 24, 1949.
Gilbert began working as an umpire in Baseball Canada’s national program in 1978 and was given his first national assignment in ’80. From then until the time of his induction, he served as an umpire or supervisor of umpires every year at the national or international level. Gilbert has officiated at the Baseball Canada Bantam, Midget, Junior, and Senior National Championships plus the Canada Games, Canada Cup, and Blue Jay Cup.
On the international circuit, Gilbert has worked World Youth, World Cup, World University Games, and Pan-American Games contests. Most notably, he officiated at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. He was assigned to the gold medal game, for which he was the third-base umpire.
Gilbert is well decorated for his officiating performances. He was selected as the Ontario Umpire of the Year in 1992, the Canadian Umpire of the Year in 1997, and the International Umpire of the Year in 2004.
Gilbert took up a leadership role in umpire development and was named Supervisor of Umpires for Baseball Canada in 1996. He was still working in that role when he was inducted into the Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame. In 1997, Gilbert founded the All-Female Umpires Clinic.