Gilkerson, Helen

Inducted: 1990

Gilkerson, Helen

Lexington, Kentucky

Helen Gilkerson began her softball career in 1963 as a player in Lexington’s first organized women’s softball league at I.B.M. Also, at that time, she played on the Harper’s Angels team, one of the best teams in Central Kentucky, and went from town to town playing anyone who would accept the challenge.

In 1966, she was instrumental in establishing the Lexington Parks and Recreation’s first women’s league, and her Harper’s Angels team won the first Women’s State softball tournament that year.

In 1970, Helen worked diligently in forming the ponytail softball program for girls in Lexington. During the early year of this program, she often coached more than one team in the league and she quotes, “that it was very memorable when they played against each other.” As her girls team grew up, they evolved into one of the best teams in the women’s league and were called the Lexington Drifters.

Helen was also a very good umpire and was partly responsible for girls high school softball being recognized by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association in 1982.

In 1988, she was awarded the Sondra Lynn Fields award, “to the most outstanding female athlete for spirit and excellence in teamwork and attitude within the women’s program.”

This citation bears witness that her name shall forever be in the Kentucky Softball Association Hall of Honor.