Bill Gilbreth was a great man. Al Scott, Gary McCaleb and he are the primary reason that baseball exists as a sport on the ACU campus. The program was killed around 1980 and around a decade later, when Gary and Al began to dream of resurrecting the program, they had to get the buy-in from ACU's only player who ever reached the MLB level -- Bill Gilbreth. Bill bought in wholeheartedly and even agreed to be the head coach. He would coach ACU baseball for the next 5 years. It was Bill that brought his old baseball buddy - Nolan Ryan - into the ACU program as a supporter.
Bill was an infinitely nice, kind man. Even after leaving as HC at ACU, he returned off and on for many years to pitch batting practice and supposedly could bring the fast ball well into his 60's. I am really pleased that ACU was able to retire his jersey earlier this year and that the University was able to honor him in this way while he was living.
Post by Cap'n Cattitude on Jul 13, 2020 17:44:38 GMT
RIP Bill. You will be missed. Bill was a contemporary of my wife and I during our ACU days. I have great memories of him personally and as an unbelievable pitcher. I recall that he got a $100,000 signing bonus with Detroit and we all thought that he would never have to work again. 😏
So sorry to hear about Bill's death. I probably saw every one of Bill's games in Abilene while he was a student-athlete (unless I had a golf tourney). Did he have a long standing heart problem or was this sudden?