The name of James “Jimmy” Bates has long been synonymous with winning, first as as athlete, then as a coach.
A standout basketball and baseball player at Bristol High School, Class of 1954, he went on to play sports at Boston University before injuries curtailed a promising career.
He later starred in basketball in the Boys Club Senior League and starred as an All-State second baseman in semi-pro baseball.
He mentored some of Bristol’s best grammar school basketball and baseball squads at Greene-Hills School and went on to coach varsity boys basketball at Bristol Eastern High School; winning a number of titles.
He is best known for the 10 seasons he coached the Bristol American Legion baseball teams, starting in 1962.
During that span, Bates, who had been a player on successive state championship Legion teams between 1951-53, coached the Post 2 squad to Zone 1 titles in all but one year while capturing three Connecticut State Titles.