Randy Tate: Mid Seventies Mets Pitcher (1975)

Randall Lee Tate was born October 23, 1952, in Florence, Alabama. He was a star athlete in his hometown high school, later attending Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Georgia. The tall six-foot three right hander was drafted by the New York Mets in the fifth round of the 1972 draft.

His first season with the Marion Mets was tough, as the 19-year-old went 0-9 having control issues which plagued his career. In 1973 at A ball Pompano Beach he went 4-10, then in 1974 was 9-11 between A ball & AA. 

Teammate Mike Bruhert taught him how to throw his fast ball differently & things got better for him. Tate even through a seven inning no hitter at AA that season.

He was promoted to AAA Tidewater &did well enough to join the Mets on a 1974 winter tour of Japan. During that series he impressed Manager Yogi Berra so much, he was added to the Mets 1975 pitching staff.

 Tate was expected to do a lot for the Mets and was thrown into the 1975 starting rotation as an inexperienced rookie.

Mets Career: Tate debuted on April 14th, 1975, at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia in the  fifth game of the season. In his first start he pitched eight innings against the Phillies, allowing three runs on three hits earning no decision. 

On April 20th in his first start at Shea, got his first victory, beating the Chicago Cubs 4-3 led by a Dave Kingman two run HR.

Tate lost his next three decisions & six of his next seven by the end of June. On June 28th he had his best day, allowing two runs on four hits as he pitched a complete game victory against Philadelphia at Shea Stadium.

On August 4th 1975, Tate had a no hitter going into the 8th inning against the Montreal Expos. But Jim Lyttle ruined the bid with a pinch hit base hit.

Tate surrendered a walk & then Gary Carter drove in the first run. Former Met Mike Jorgensen drove in the next run & Tate wound up with a 4-3 loss. On August 26th he earned his final career victory, pitching a two run complete game win at San Diego.

Tates biggest problem was his control & getting his curve ball over for strikes. He received support from young catcher John Stearns & his manager Berra, but it didn't work out.

Berra was fired after the August 4th game & interim manager Roy McMillan put him in the bullpen.

After the big leagues: In 1976 he was back at AAA Tidewater but fell to 7-14 with a 6.20 ERA. He was demoted down to A ball where he improved to 11-8 with a 3.57 ERA at Lynchburg. 

In 1978 he had one last shot in the Pittsburgh Pirate organization but tore his rotator cuff which ended his career at age 26. Overall, in 23 career games he went 5-13 with 99 strikeouts 86 walks and a 4.45 ERA.

Trivia: Randy goes down in history as being the only player to ever record 47 plate appearances and never get a hit. He is one of the worst hitting pitchers ever, going 0-41 with one walk. 

The one time he got on base he tried to steal a base, getting thrown out at second.

Retirement: Tate worked as a welder after his baseball career. At first, he wanted nothing to do with baseball when his career ended, but his attitude changed later in life.

Passing: Tate passed away in Muscle Shoals, Alabama on March of 2021 due to complications of Covid-19. He was 68 years old.


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