Monday, July 4, 2022

Golden Tate to play baseball in West Coast League: Former Pro Bowl WR pursuing ‘first love’ after NFL career

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USATSI

Former NFL wide receiver Golden Tate is taking his talents from the gridiron to the baseball field, as he signed with the Port Angeles Lefties of the West Coast League. He is expected to make his debut in the WCL as the starting center fielder for the Lefties in a home game against the Bend Elks.

The 33-year-old last signed with the Tennessee Titans in 2021, but was released shortly after. Following the end of his football career, he is returning to what he calls his “first love.”

“I am extremely thankful to the West Coast League and the Port Angeles Lefties for allowing me to join their league,” Tate said in a statement. “As some might know, I was drafted twice in baseball. As a child, my first love was baseball, so I’m excited about the opportunity to compete against some of the best young players in the league. I look forward to having a lot of fun and exploring baseball more.”

The Arizona Diamondbacks drafted Tate in the 42nd round of the 2007 amateur draft, but he opted to attend Notre Dame, playing football and baseball. After a successful career in South Bend, Tate was drafted again in 2010, this time in the 50th round by the San Francisco Giants. He chose football instead, beginning his NFL career as a second-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks. In 11 seasons, he racked up 695 catches for 8,278 yards and 46 touchdowns. 

Now he’s ready to see if he can hold his own in another sport.

“Considering his ties to the Pacific Northwest and his tremendous NFL career, we know our fans will love watching him,” WCL commissioner Rob Neyer said in a statement. “And his teammates will certainly benefit from seeing how hard a world-class athlete works toward the same thing they’re all working toward: a professional baseball career.”

Lefties owner Matt Acker spoke to Tate’s “competitiveness, work ethic, humility, and desire,” adding that this is a unique experience for all involved. 

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