Today the West Coast League’s Port Angeles Lefties announced that ex-NFL wide receiver Golden Tate has signed as a Lefties player for the remainder of the 2022 season. While Jake Locker and Jordan Poyer both played for WCL teams before their NFL careers, Tate will become the first former NFL player in the league.
“I am extremely thankful,” Tate said, “to the West Coast League and the Port Angeles Lefties for allowing me to join their league. 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, a Tennessee native, established himself as one of college football’s premier receivers and returners in 2008 and ‘09 with Notre Dame, earning unanimous All-American honors in the latter season. Selected in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks, Tate capped his fourth and final season in Seattle with a blowout Super Bowl win over the Denver Broncos.
Joining the Detroit Lions in 2014, Tate was named to the Pro Bowl after setting career highs with 99 catches and 1,331 receiving yards. After four-and-a-half seasons with Detroit, Tate played half a season with Philadelphia before finishing his NFL career with two seasons as a New York Giant.
While at Notre Dame, Tate also played baseball for two seasons. As a sophomore, he batted .329 and scored 45 runs in 55 games. He’s been drafted twice: first out of high school by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and then out of college by the San Francisco Giants; both times he declined to sign a professional baseball contract.
“We’re all excited to see Golden wearing a Lefties uniform,” West Coast League Commissioner Rob Neyer said. “Considering his ties to the Pacific Northwest and his tremendous NFL career, we know our fans will love watching him. 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.”
“We’re looking forward to Golden joining the Lefties,” said owner Matt Acker, who brought the Lefties to Port Angeles in 2017. “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.”
Tate is slated to debut as Port Angeles’s starting center fielder in tonight’s game against the visiting Bend Elks. You can follow all the action via the West Coast League’s scoreboard page.
About the West Coast League
The West Coast League is the West’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Encompassing Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and now Alberta, the WCL showcases pro prospects from major collegiate conferences around the nation. Every summer, the league features unparalleled fan and player experiences, with North America’s best baseball weather and a mix of classic and state-of-the-art ballparks, all backdropped by dramatic scenery. The 2019 MLB amateur draft began with former Corvallis Knight, Adley Rutschman, selected with the overall No. 1 pick by the Baltimore Orioles, and the 2021 draft included 42 WCL alumni, including 4 of the first 63 picks. For more information, please visit westcoastleague.com.