Legends of the Game

In the Eighteenth edition of “Legends of the Game” we look at the life and career of…

Don Stinson
May 3rd, 1948 – July 16th, 2007.

I have found two articles on Mr. Stinson, written just prior to his inductions into the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame, and Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

The first article is by Brent Cooper
www.muskogaregion.com
October 17th, 2012

HUNTSVILLE – To some, the number 13 is not considered to be a lucky digit, especially to those from the overly superstitious world of sports.
But to the late Don Stinson, that number reflects a level of achievement that some people could only dream about reaching.
Stinson, who died in 2007 at age 59, is being inducted posthumously into the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame on Nov. 3 in the special contributor category.
The significance of the number 13 reflects the number of consecutive Ontario and national lacrosse championships Stinson won while playing on teams from Huntsville and Oshawa.  
He played for Huntsville and the legendary coach Jim Bishop on Ontario championship teams for six straight years, starting in 1957 and again in 1958 with Ontario novice A championships, followed by two consecutive peewee A championships, and then two more provincial titles in the bantam A division.
These six titles were then followed up by seven straight Minto Cup national junior A championships with Bishop as a member of the celebrated Green Gaels teams.
Stinson goes into the hall as the only player to ever play on seven consecutive Minto Cup winning teams, from 1963 to 1969 with the Green Gaels, a record that will most likely never be broken since many players today don’t begin playing junior A lacrosse at an early age.  
He scored 31 goals as a 14-year-old rookie in 1963 and went onto score 144 goals and 291 points during his career.
Although his rookie point totals (58 points) were the highest in his stint with the Gaels, Stinson was better known to his teammates as a big strong defensive-minded player who could also contribute important goals when they were needed in an important game.
He was also a worthwhile coach to the Huntsville minor lacrosse association after his playing days. In 1970, Stinson coached the Huntsville peewee team to an undefeated season, which concluded with the capturing of the national title.  
Stinson’s widow Sharon said that if he were alive today for the November ceremony, the inductee would have downplayed the accomplishment.
“Don was a very quiet person and he always lived in the moment, not in the past. There were a lot of times it was hard to get him to talk about his accomplishments. But I think he would be happy, particularly that there is a little grandson now. His grandson Jaydon was born two years after Don passed away and he never got a chance to meet the little guy. Don would want Jaydon to know about his accomplishments.”
Sharon will be giving the induction speech at the ceremony in honour of Don. But she says she won’t be alone on the speaker’s podium.
“The whole family is going down and I am going to take my grandson, who will be three at the end of November, up on the stage with me. I want this little guy to know who his grandfather was and what he accomplished.”
This more recent accolade is not the first sports hall to have Stinson as a member. He was inducted into the Oshawa sports hall of fame in 1992 for his seven Minto Cup wins.


The second is an article by George Young from Doppleronline.ca from Huntsville, Ontario, June 28, 2016 on Don Stinson.

He’s the only player to have played on seven Jr. A Minto Cup winning teams: a record that may never be broken.

Huntsville’s Don Stinson accomplished that playing for Jim Bishop’s Oshawa Green Gaels from 1963 to 1969. He also played for Bishop’s Detroit Olympics of the professional National Lacrosse League and Sr. A lacrosse with Huntsville and Windsor in 1970 and 1972.

In his first year with the Green Gaels, Stinson scored 31 goals as a 14-year old rookie. He went on to score 144 goals and 291 points during his career.

He also coached the 1970 Huntsville peewee team to the National title without losing a game.

His success will be recognized in November when Stinson will be officially inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in New Westminster B.C. He will join six other players who are on the 2016 list of inductees.

Stinson died suddenly July 16, 2007 when he was only 59. His wife Sharon says there was never a cause of death given. He was driving on Centre Street in Huntsville, talking with a friend, when his heart stopped beating. “They said he was the healthiest man that they had ever done an autopsy on,” she recalled. “His heart just stopped. No cause was ever recorded.”

Don was inducted into the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2012, and the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2016.


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