Golden Tate is going to be making a different kind of catch this season.
The ex-Giants wide receiver signed with the West Coast League’s Port Angeles Lefties on Tuesday and was set to start in center field against the Bend Elks.
While the 33-year-old NFL free agent move from the gridiron to the diamond may be surprising, it’s not all that unlikely.
Before being selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2010 NFL Draft, Tate was an MLB draft pick — twice. He was taken in the 42nd round of the 2007 draft by the Diamondbacks, and then after two seasons at Notre Dame — where he hit .318/.375/.402 with 16 stolen bases and 51 runs scored in 73 games — the San Francisco Giants made him a 50th-round pick in 2010.
“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.”
Tate certainly has the option to try something new. While he’s yet to formally retire from football, he took home upwards of $56 million over 11 NFL seasons, two of them with the Giants (2019-20). The Pro Bowler and 2013 Super Bowl champion with the Seahawks brings a new level of cache to the WCL and Lefties.
“We’re looking forward to Golden joining the Lefties,” Port Angeles owner Matt Acker said. “Having an elite athlete around, one who’s competed on the world’s biggest sports stage, is special. His passion for this sport, plus his competitiveness, work ethic, humility and desire will be contagious to our players and opponents. We see this as a unique opportunity for the Port Angeles Lefties, the West Coast League and for Golden.”