1977 TCMA Jacksonville #8 - Joe Gates
On this day in 2010, Joe Gates died at age 55.
Joe made his MLB debut with the Chicago White Sox on September 12, 1978. Gates played twenty-four games for the Pale Hose between then and his last MLB game on June 24, 1979. Joe played in eight games in 1978 and had six hits and one RBI with a .250 average.
In 1979, Gates appeared in sixteen games for the South Siders, but only managed one hit. That lone hit was a triple, on May 13, 1979 against the Kansas City Royals. This turned out to by Joe's only extra base hit in the majors.
Gates won the Southern League AA batting title for Knoxville in 1978, batting .332 and stealing 38 bases before being promoted to the White Sox. After his playing career ended, Joe became the head baseball coach at Gary Wirt high school for 28 years before the school closed in 2009. At the time of his passing, Gates was the bench coach for the Gary SouthShore RailCats. Joe was a native of Gary, Indiana.