Gaylord was born in Ashland and enjoyed participating and attending sporting events as an early age. Whether it was neighborhood baseball, basketball, football, marbles, badminton or horseshoes, he enjoyed them all. He managed to sneak or talk his way into many Ashland College sporting events at a young age. He was the batboy for AC baseball team for two seasons.
His first participation in a formalized sport came in Little League in 1954. He was the second player chosen in Ashland’s first ever Little League draft. He batted .389 and made the All-Star team at shortstop. Gay then played Pony League in it’s first year of existence in Ashland. He made the All-Star team both years as a shortstop and pitcher. In 1955 he played his first formalized basketball with the Whiz Kids. The team was made up of eighth graders and traveled to neighboring towns. The summers of 1958 and 1959 were spent playing American Legion baseball, as a third baseman and pitcher. He batted .391 and led the team in hitting with a .455 average in 1959.
Gay was very active in Ashland High School sports, having played four years of basketball, three years of baseball and one year of football and cross country. He was Co-Captain of the 1960 basketball squad that finished the year 16-4. However, Mansfield took quick revenge in the tournament. After a disappointing loss in the tournament, he was fortunate enough to be named All-Ohio Honorable Mention. He credits his team mates for a lot of his success, as all five starters averaged in double figures in scoring and became the highest scoring team in Ashland High School history.
After graduating from Ashland High School, Gay entered Ashland College on a Grant-in-Aid Athletic Scholarship. He played three years of basketball and baseball. He was on the basketball team that posted a 21-4 record in 1962. The team lost in overtime in the NAIA post-season tournament to eventual champion Prairie View A&M of Texas. Zelmo Beaty, who went on to play many years in the HBA led Prairie View. Gay also played third base on the baseball team and was named MVP of the 1964 squad.
Between 1961 and 1974 Gay played fast pitch softball with several area teams including seven seasons with the Faultless Rubbermen. He also continued his basketball career playing with Faultless in the Industrial League.
Gay started golfing after high school. He was on numerous champion teams in the Abbott golf league. Although never a great golfer, he once shot a two under par 34 at Brookside.
After college graduation in 1965, he went to work in the Data processing department, as a computer programmer at the Tappan Company in Mansfield. In 1966 he married his wife Carol, whom he met at Ashland College. They have two daughters, Allyson, who lives in Westlake and Carrie, who lives in Washington Court House with her husband and two children.
Gay and Carol both retired in 2001. Carol was an elementary school teacher in Ashland. Gay retired after 32 years at Abbott Labs in Ashland. Upon his retirement he was in charge of inventories and warehousing. Gay’s hobbies include golf and fishing. Gay and Carol both enjoy traveling. They attend Trinity Lutheran Church. Gay has served as secretary for the Sports Hall of Fame for several years and belongs to the Elks and Young Men’s Business Club of Ashland.
Finally, Gay would like to make a tribute to his parents, John, who is deceased and Luella, who lives in Ashland. “Dad took me to and from practices and games, and there were a lot of them. Mom always had my meals ready after practices and games and always had my uniforms cleaned and ready to go. I’M sure they both gave up a lot of their time and energy for me and I appreciate all they did.”
Nominator: Edward “Bud” Plank