Tuesday, February 16, 2010
#193) RANDY TATE
Randy Tate was selected by the New York Mets organization in the fifth round of the free agent draft on January 12, 1972. The right-hander would spend his first years in the Mets' minor league system. Even though he was progressing through the system Tate was disenchanted with his minor league assignment. "I had a good job here and considered not going back." Randy would tell the Florence Times in March of 1974, "I thought about settling down and forgetting it." His strong finish that year with Triple-A Tidewater (2-0 with a 1.06 ERA in two starts) earned him a spot in the New York starting rotation for 1975. Randy made his major league debut starting for the Mets at Veteran's Stadium in Philadelphia on April 14, 1975 . Although his best performance came on August 4th facing the Montreal Expos. That day Tate became yet another Mets pitcher to come close to tossing a no-hitter only to fall short. He had pitched beautifully at Shea Stadium that evening. Hurling seven innings without yielding a hit and striking out 13 batters. Unfortunately in the eighth inning the Expos would plate four runs on three hits including a Mike Jorgensen three-run home run. It was enough for Montreal to ruin his performance and edge the Mets 4-3.
Randy remained in the rotation the entire 1975 season posting a record of 5-13 with a 4.45 ERA. He was optioned to Tidewater for 1976 and traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in 1978. It was during that season he suffered a torn rotator cuff and retired from professional baseball.
In October of 2007 he would again make headlines, but for the wrong reason. Randy was one of three Colbert County men that were arrested for copper theft. Tate was charged with first-degree theft of property. He was accused of stealing over $20,000 worth of copper from the Occidental Chemical Corporation in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Reports indicated that Randy, who was working as a contractor at the plant, was taking numerous copper plates and bolts from the facility and selling them to a salvage yard.
I created Randy Tate's card in the set from a signed index card given to me by my friend Wally on February 7, 2010.