Ten years, 146 wins, three 20-win seasons, a 2006 Division I South Section title, and at least 10 former players turned collegiate athletes.
These are Mick Tate’s statistics as Pitman High’s head baseball coach, but numbers alone cannot define him. Players have described him as an old school kind of guy, someone who wasn’t afraid to push his athletes and who was always willing to go the extra mile for them. If he wasn’t overseeing Pitman’s practices he was on the road watching his former players perform at the collegiate level, enjoying the game he loved so much.
“He was definitely a fun guy to play for,” said former player and three year coaching assistant, Spencer Snodgrass. “As I started to coach with him we developed a friendship and he’s like a best friend to me now. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to help jump start my coaching career.”
During his time at Pitman, Tate was named the District Coach of the Year in 2006, earned the ABCA’s 25 year Coaching Award in 2007, and was chosen to coach the Stanislaus County All Star Game in 2008. Tate’s legacy extends beyond Pitman, however, as he also had a big impact at Orestimba High.
As a Warrior, Tate held the positions of head Varsity football and baseball coach from 1983-2003 where he earned the Sothern Athletic League Coach of the Year award for the 1996 and 2002 football seasons as well as the 1987, 1989, and 1993 baseball seasons. He coached the 1993 and 1997 Stanislaus County All Star Baseball Games in addition to the 1994 North-South All Star Baseball game and was named to the Orestimba Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994. He also served as the school’s athletic director from 2000-02.
Tate also coached Modesto Junior College’s football team from 1979-81, winning a National Championship with the Pirates in 1980.
“He always gave you the benefit of the doubt as a player and trusted you. It was nice knowing he had faith and believed in you,” Snodgrass said. “I’m thankful for the opportunity he gave me. If I could do half of what he’s done I would be happy.”
In his final season with the Pride, Tate and his team won Pitman’s first Pedretti Tournament Championship, a meaningful victory for Tate who was coached by Atch Pedretti as a young baseball player. Pitman finished the season with an overall record of 20-8 and a CCC record of 9-6, narrowly missing a chance at its first league title but still earning a SJS Div. I Playoff spot.
Tate and his staff were chosen to coach this year’s East-West All Star Baseball game on June 16, a fitting end to an all star career.