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Kilgour, Don (2000)



The sports pages of his day hailed him as “Orono’s long and lean southpaw Star,

“the crafty Pale Hose lefty” and ““Worumbo’s able ace.” Don “Lefty” Kilgour, mainstay of the {University of Maine pitching staff in the mid- 1930's and semi-pro hurler for the legendary Worumbo Woolen Mill, brings impressive credentials to his well deserved perch in the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.

Kilgour was raised in Lovell and graduated from Fryeburg Academy in 1933. Don was fortunate to toil under the tutelage of Cliff Gray (Hall of Frame 76). “Coach Gray taught me two good pitches: curveball and forkball,”’ notes Kilgour with appreciation.

The accomplished moundsman went to play for Bill Kenyon at the University of Maine from 1934-1937, contributing to a State Championship tor the Black Bears in 1936.

li was during the summers of °35, ’36 and ’37 that Kilgour would achieve state-wide notoriety with the storied Worumbo Indians of Lisbon Falls in the Maine semi-pro circuit. Kilgour anchored the pitching staff on the 1937 team that won the New England Semi-Pro Championship and he was chosen by the Semi-Pro Congress as one of 16 to make the All-State Team. The dream year continued as the Woolen Mill nine trekked to Wichita, Kansas for the National Semi-Pro Tournament and came in 4th out of 32 teams from throughout the country.

Kilgour’s poise and stylish delivery caught the eye of several professional scouts at the Wichita tournament and in February, 1938 Don got the call to report to the Dallas, Texas farm club of the Chicago White Sox.

Kilgour later was assigned to the Rayne, Louisiana club in the Evangeline League and posted a 14-9 record for the 1938 season. The Maine native thrived in the stifling Deep South heat, pitching 199 innings that summer and completing a no-hit, no-run masterpiece in the process.

Kilgour’s fortunes appeared to be on the rise when his contract was purchased by the Cleveland Indians in the winter of 1939 and he was assigned to Shreveport in the Texas League — a jump of three minor league steps from a Class D to a Class A organization. This release from a Shreveport newspaper captures the promotion:

“Purchase of two pitchers from the Rayne club of the Evangeline League has been announced by J. Walter Morris, general manager for the Shreveport team. The pitchers, both left handers, are Donald Kilgour and Walter Navie.

and Navie were regarded as two of the best prospects in the league and were responsible for many of Rayne’s most thrilling games last season. Both boys were good box office attractions and also were extremely popular with their fellow teammates.”

Alas, what started as a season of promise ended abruptly when Kilgour suffered a severe shoulder injury early on and asked for his release to return home to Maine. His career ended short of the big leagues, but Kilgour’s place in Maine baseball history is secure.

Kilgour resides today in Rockland. His wife of 62 years, Barbara , passed away last month. The Maine Baseball Hall of Fame extends its deepest sympathies to Don as it honors him today.












From Lovell Historical Society


https://lovell.pastperfectonline.com/byperson?keyword=Kilgour%2C+Donald+Campbell+%281915-2010%29&page=3


Married Oct 30, 1937

Buried at Cemetery No. 4.

Taken from the Winter 2009 Newsletter, written by Catherine Stone:

Maine Baseball Hall of Famer Donald Kilgour was born and raised in Lovell. After graduating from college in 1937, where he was hailed as "Orono’s long and lean southpaw star" and "the crafty Pale Hose lefty", he began a promising diamond career as a pitcher. Unfortunately, his professional career ended abruptly in 1939 when he suffered a severe shoulder injury.

Don was born May 3, 1915 in an upstairs apartment above what is now the Masonic Hall. His parents, Olive (Benton) and James C. Kilgour, Jr. were prominent members of the community, active in many local organizations including the Lovell Village Congregational Church. They purchased a house on Christian Hill Road, kitty-corner from the church, and raised their only child. Don’s father was adept at many professions, from storekeeper to mail carrier and from ice cutter to stone mason. He was also a ball player and in his spare time he played catch with his son in the backyard.

In a 2000 interview, Don recalled playing ball in Lovell. "We played in a cow pasture," he said. "One of the men in the sawmill made a home plate for us. One of us was assigned to take care of the plate. You can guess what we used for first, second and third bases (cow patties). You would go home with green stain on your pants. It might be grass or it might not be."

Under the tutelage of Fryeburg Academy’s Coach Cliff Gray, Don learned his two best pitches: curveball and forkball (which is like today’s split finger fastball). He went on to play at the University of Maine from 1934-1937, contributing to a State Championship in 1936. During the summers he played the Maine semi-pro circuit and his "poise and stylish delivery" caught the eye of professional scouts. In February, 1938 Don signed with the Dallas, Texas farm club of the Chicago White Sox. He was later assigned to the Rayne, Louisiana club in the Evangeline League. During the summer of 1938 he pitched 199 innings and completed a no-hit, no-run masterpiece in the process.

In the winter of 1939, his contract was purchased by the Cleveland Indians and he was assigned to Shreveport in the Texas League—a jump of three minor league steps from a Class D to a Class A organization. His ascending career ended quickly, however, when he pulled a tendon in his left pitching shoulder that summer.

Don returned to Maine and, thanks to a degree in mechanical engineering, made a new career with Central Maine Power. He and his wife settled in Rockland and visited Lovell often. He has fond memories of his youth and his days as a "twirler" when he could throw a ball past some of the best hitters in the country. "I really think I could have made it," he said of a major league career, "but it has all gone by. It is nice to dream. It sure would have been nice, but fate wasn’t that way. I had a good time and a wonderful experience."





Kilgour, Don (00)

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