An All Star in 1960, Coates spent nine years in the big leagues, pitching primarily for the Yankees. He broke in to the majors in 1956, pitching two games for New York before returning to the minor leagues. He did not return to the Yankees until 1959 when he went 6-1 with three saves in 37 games for New York. His next season was his best. Coates went 13-3 in 1959 with a 4.28 ERA. He earned a trip to the All-Star Game that year where he pitched two scoreless innings for the American League in a loss. Coates appeared in three World Series for the Yankees, getting rings in 1961 and 1962. Coates finished his career with a 43-22 mark and a 4.00 ERA. In 1994 he was elected to the state of Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
Coates has a biography titled Forever A Yankee which he references in his questionnaire. In the book he tells the story of his childhood in a small town in Virginia. He was raised by a single mother and learned to play baseball using walnuts and branches from trees. Thus, he did not know much about what was going on in the majors when he was a kid.
Coates book can be purchased here. It is an interesting look at his life and career, with a focus on his time as a Yankee. It is a good read and I highly recommend.
Jim Coates – career stats