Former NFL wide receiver Golden Tate is taking his talents from NFL 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 centre fielder for the Lefties in a home game against the Bend Elks.

Tate, who played baseball for two years at Notre Dame, hasn’t played in the NFL since 2020. He was twice drafted in the Major League Baseball amateur draft, in 2007 by Arizona in the 42nd round and in 2010 by San Francisco in the 50th round.

“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,” Tate said in a statement. “I look forward to having a lot of fun and exploring baseball more.”

Tate, 33, was a second-round pick of the Seahawks in 2010 and was part of their Super Bowl championship roster in 2013.

In 2007, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected Tate in the 42nd round of the 2007 amateur draft. He opted to attend Notre Dame, where he played both baseball and football. He was drafted again in 2010 when the San Francisco Giants selected him in the 50th round.

Tate, obviously, decided to play football and was selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks.

“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.”

Tate spent two seasons with the Giants from 2019 to 2020, recording 84 receptions for 1,064 yards and eight touchdowns.

“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.”

Tate had an excellent 11-year NFL career. A second-round pick by the Seattle Seahawks in 2010, Tate caught 695 passes for 8,278 yards and 46 touchdowns in a career that also saw him play for the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. Playing in an offence that included Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford, Tate was a Pro Bowler in 2014, when he caught 99 passes for 1,331 yards and four touchdowns.