A former player and coach who had an opportunity to help a group of local juniors step into the senior ranks, Herb Bate found himself bitten hard by the fastball bug in 1968. As sponsor-manager of the newly minted Bate Construction team, he set the stage for a provincial and national dynasty in men's fastball that would last well into the next decade. From the word go he was keen on making more than simply a run-of-the-mill team out of this fairly talented group of players. Working with his coaching staff, he recruited top pitchers on a regular basis, a key ingredient at the senior level. He then found high-level opponents for his squad to play and was instrumental in forming a Northwest International Fastball League. The formula led to seven B.C. titles in eight seasons and helped attract the Canadian championships to Victoria in 1974. He achieved two major goals the next year when his team captured a Canadian championship, then later earned a tie for the world championship title in New Zealand.