“Coates,” wrote Jim Bouton in Ball Four of his skeletal former teammate, “could pose as the illustration for an undertaker’s sign. He has a personality to match … [and] was famous for throwing at people and then not getting into the fights that resulted.”
Regardless of Bouton’s unflattering portrait, Coates was an effective pitcher for the Yankees in 1959-62, working both as a starter and reliever. He won 39 and lost only 15, with 15 saves. He benefited to an unusual extent from the strong offensive support the Yankees could offer.