Jimmy Stewart was an all-around local athlete who won 10 WOSSA medals during his days at Walkerville Collegiate and starred on baseball and basketball clubs in Windsor at the Senior Men’s level. He was the leading scorer on the silver medalist Canadian Men’s Olympic Basketball team at the 1936 Berlin Games.
Stewart was born in Windsor on July 10, 1910.
During his school days, Stewart played virtually every sport on offer, including baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and track and field. During his much decorated career at Walkerville Collegiate, he won five WOSSA medals in soccer, three in basketball, and two in track and field.
Stewart also represented several amateur sports clubs in Windsor. He played quarterback and kicker for the Windsor Mic-Macs in the Ontario Rugby Football Union, and was a member of the Walkerville soccer team in the Michigan-Ontario Soccer League.
Stewart was a part of two important “first” for Windsor-area baseball clubs. In 1928, he played third base on the Walkerville Chicklets, the first team from Windsor to win an Ontario Junior Baseball championship. The following year, his Walkerville Chicks team won the Ontario Senior Baseball title. All in all, Stewart played eight season of senior baseball locally.
Stewart played Senior Men’s Basketball for the Windsor Alumni and Ford V-8s. With the Alumni, Stewart won the Ontario Championship in 1932 and ’33. His 1932 team was an Eastern Canadian Finalist, while the ’33 team won the Eastern Canadian Championship before falling at the Canadian Finals level.
In 1936, Stewart won the Canadian Senior Men’s Basketball Championship with the Ford V-8s by defeating the University of Victoria Dominoes in the national final. Significantly, this victory earned them the right to represent Canada at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. At the Olympics, Stewart led the team in scoring as it reached the championship game. While the V-8s lost to the U.S.A. by a score of 19-8 in the final, Stewart’s squad remains Canada’s only Olympic medalist basketball team. Stewart racked up 25 points over the course of the Olympic tournament, making his Canada’s leading scorer.
In 1937, the V-8s again reached the Canadian Finals, this time losing to the University of British Columbia.
Stewart returned to the Windsor Alumni and won two further Ontario Championships. In the 1939 season, he also won the Eastern Canadian Championship and so again reached the Canadian finals. Unfortunately, the Alumni lost to the Victoria Dominoes. In 1940, the team fell at the Eastern Canadian Finals, losing to Montreal YMHA.
Stewart was also an accomplished coach. In 1932, Stewart coached Walkerville to the Eastern Canadian Senior Boy’s Basketball Title as a 22-year-old. He also coached football and basketball for two years at Walkerville, and he won several Windsor Little League championships as coach of the Lincoln Road United Boys basketball team.
Jimmy Stewart’s son, Jimmy Jr., became a Canadian Champion in basketball with Windsor AKO in 1961, creating a rare father-son duo of Windsorite Canadian Champions.
Jimmy Stewart Passed away on August 12, 1990 at the age of 80.