Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Final Card: Jim Coates

Jim Coates (#401) has been around the block so many times that there's no room for any commentary on the back of his card.

Jim was signed by the Yankees in 1951, and pitched in the Yankees' farm system from 1952 to 1958. He made his major-league debut with the Yankees in September 1956, appearing in 2 games. Coates was back to stay at the start of the 1959 season.

Jim was with the Yankees for 4 seasons, as a starter and reliever. In 1960, his .813 winning percentage was the best in the American League. Still, he was 5th in games started and innings pitched among Yankees' starters that year, behind Whitey Ford, Art Ditmar, Bob Turley, and Ralph Terry.

Those 4 seasons in New York were the pinnacle of his career, as he would spend part or all of the next 8 seasons in the minor leagues. In mid-April 1963, Coates was traded to the Senators for pitcher Steve Hamilton. Three months later, he was sold to the Cincinnati Reds. Jim only pitched in 9 games for the Reds, spending the remaining part of 1963 with the Reds' triple-A team in San Diego.

Coates spent most of his remaining pro career in triple-A, first with San Diego, then (following a July 1965 trade to the Angels) with the Angels' AAA teams in Seattle and (in 1969-70) Hawaii. From 1965-67, he was with the Angels just enough to get a baseball card. His last major-league game was in September 1967.

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