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William Derrick Bates
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 7", Weight 155 lb.
- School University of Texas at Austin
- High School Aldine High School
- Debut August 17, 1989
- Final Game October 2, 1990
- Born December 7, 1963 in Houston, TX USA
Billy Bates was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 4th round of the 1985 amateur draft out of the University of Texas. While at Texas he was named MVP of the 1984 National Baseball Congress World Series playing for the Grand Rapids Sullivans.
Bates, a speedy infielder, made his debut with Milwaukee on August 17, 1989 and recorded his first hit on August 20 against Mike Smithson of the Boston Red Sox. On July 9, 1990, Bates was traded to the Cincinnati Reds with Glenn Braggs for Ron Robinson and Bob Sebra.
To Reds fans, Bates is best remembered for an infamous foot race against a cheetah from the Cincinnati Zoo. Looking for an extra late-season promotion, the Reds decided to have a foot race before a 1990 home game. The Reds, who were not tremendously concerned with Bates being mauled, staged the race across the outfield. Bates won the race, but only after his hat came off his head and the cheetah mistook it for food. That year, the Reds went "wire-to-wire" and won the World Series. Bates scored the winning run in Game 2 of the World Series, but never appeared in a major league game after that.