Thursday, March 11, 2021

Baseball card stories from Eric Bates

 Drafted by the Reds in 1989, Eric Bates pitched for the team's Billings affiliate that year, going 4-2 with a save and a 3.68 ERA in 24 relief appearances. Unfortunately, injuries ended his career before he could progress further. Now a Wealth Management Advisor at Rubicon Advisors in Roseville, CA, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards and shared some other baseball stories as well.

"It was a tremendous honor to play professional baseball for the Reds...I filled many roles for the Reds (long man, set up man, closer, and I would have been a starter but my start against the Dodgers in Pocatello was rained out)...I had big dreams to make it to the Big Leagues, but unfortunately got hurt before I could get there...I am still a huge baseball fan...go Reds!

When we were taking pictures for our pictures in Billings, I stood next to Trevor Hoffman in the team picture (one of the funniest and craziest human beings that I have ever known).  While we lined up, I inadvertently stood in a bit of a hole and the picture appeared to show that Trevor was taller than I was and we went back and forth about who was taller (I was 6’2” and Trevor was about 6’).  Ultimately, Trevor decided to play a prank on me in the clubhouse because of our back and forth and had three other guys grab my arms and legs and carry me around in the clubhouse until I said that he was taller.  Trevor was a great guy and one of my favorite people on the planet.  I have many more stories that I could tell that would keep you laughing and entertained for hours on end.  My favorite card of myself is this first year card in Billings signifying that I was drafted, signed and played professional baseball- a dream becoming reality.  I have a card from my Charleston Wheelers assignment the next year, but things had fallen apart by that time due to my injury.  That summer in Billings showed me that I could compete with anyone and have good success.  I have been collecting baseball cards since I was probably 5 or 6 years old and have thousands of cards, including some really great players.  I have been slowly getting them graded and ready to show at some point.  Talking baseball is like breathing, in my opinion- an essential life function :)"



  1. I hope Mr. Bates starts a blog and shows off his graded cards. I'd love to read the stories behind them.

  2. Sounds like a great guy, with a really positive attitude!