Gilmores honored before ABL game
Former Knik Little League umpire Cliff Gilmore stepped onto a baseball field in Alaska for perhaps the last time Sunday, July 7.
His days of calling balls and strikes behind him, Cliff and his wife, Dorothy, were honored prior to the Chinooks’ game for their years of service to the community.
The Gilmores headed north just after tying the knot nearly six decades ago.
“We drove the Alcan on our honeymoon,” Dorothy said.
Once they reached the Last Frontier, they found a home.
“We got here and we had to stay,” Cliff said.
Forty-one of their 57 years in Alaska have been spent in Chugiak, where they became fixtures in the community.
Dorothy has worked at Alaska First National Bank’s Eagle River branch since 1971, and still does today.
She’s been with First National since the Gilmores moved to Alaska, except during a 10-year hiatus while raising their four sons — all Chugiak High graduates.
Dorothy will work through the end of next month before she and Cliff move to Idaho to be closer to family.
Cliff, a former mail carrier and small business owner, served in the Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department for 37 years, eight of those as chief. One of the department’s five stations bears his name.
Several CVFD members were in attendance Sunday, all of whom shook Cliff’s hand and thanked him for his service.
Rep. Bill Stoltze, who sponsored the game and came up with the ides of honoring the couple, presented Dorothy with flowers and gave Cliff a toy fire engine.
“This is the cheapest truck I’ve bought for you,” Stoltze joked as he recognized two of Chugiak’s longest-tenured residents.
The Gilmores said they were touched to be honored by Stoltze and the community.
“It is very nice,” Cliff said.
The Chinooks showed their thanks by snapping a six-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks.
Griffin Gum scored the game-winning run on an error in the bottom of the eighth after the Panners scored two in the top of the inning to tie the game.
Nicholas Covello had a pair of hits and scored twice to lead the Chinooks. Collin Radack drove in two runs.
The Chinooks played their second of a three-game series at Fairbanks on Wednesday, July 10, but a score was not available when the Star went to press.
Chugiak-Eagle River is on the road for three more games — today (July 11) at Fairbanks at 7 p.m., Saturday, July 13 at Mat-Su at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 14 at 4 p.m. at Mat-Su — before hosting a two-game series July 16-17 against the Miners at 6 p.m.
Panners 7, Chinooks 4
The Chinooks (5-18) opened a three-game series at Fairbanks with a 7-4 loss Tuesday, July 9. Griffin Gum led the Chinooks with three hits and two runs.
‘Nooks 5, Oilers 4, 11 inn.
Drew Turbin hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Chinooks past the Oilers 5-4 on Monday, July 8 at Loretta French. Stephen Ventimillia went 3-for-4 to lead Chugiak-Eagle River.
Miners 10, Chinooks 5
Gum, Radack, Drew Turbin and Griffith Roark had two hits apiece in the Chinooks’ 10-5 loss to Mat-Su on Saturday, July 6 at Loretta French.
Oilers sweep Chinooks
The Peninsula Oilers swept a four-game series against the Chinooks on July 2-5 at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
The first three games were decided by two runs or fewer before the Oilers capped their fourth straight victory 7-2.
Pilots 9, Chinooks 5
The Chinooks scored four runs in the final inning but came up short, losing 9-5 to the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on June 30 at Loretta French.
Turbin drove in two runs on a pair of hits, Covello had two RBI’s and a hit and Ryan Shackelford had two hits and an RBI.