Former Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, Golden Tate, has made his way from the football field to the diamond. Tate signed with the Port Angeles Lefties of the West Coast League, surprising many NFL fans across the country. However, this transition should not be all that surprising.
Tate and Baseball
Tate may have been a standout receiver for the Fighting Irish, but his surprise career change makes sense. The 33-year-old center fielder played 2 seasons for Notre Dame’s baseball team, ending his college career with an impressive stat line.
Not only did he hit .318 in his two years, but he had 51 runs and batted in 25 RBIs. Respectable numbers for one of the better collegiate athletics programs in the country, and making that heavy of an impact in both of his major sports.
Tate was drafted into the MLB not once, but twice. Immediately out of high school, Tate got drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 42nd round in 2007. He declined, choosing to spend the next two years playing Football and Baseball for Notre Dame.
After an incredible stint in the NCAA, he was drafted again by the San Francisco Giants in the 50th round. Again, he declined and wound up being drafted in the second round of the NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks.
What the Future Holds
Tate was having trouble finding his footing again in the NFL. His years in Detroit were his most impactful, with a year of over 1,300 receiving yards and a pro bowl birth.
After his move to the Giants, things took a downhill turn. Going from a number one receiver in Detroit to a player who can’t reach 400 yards 3 years later, his decline was fast and steady.
After not being re-signed to the Giants after 2020, Tate was picked up by the Titans practice squad in 2021 and ended up being released a month later. He has not seen the field of play since his disappointing season in 2020, so maybe the change is necessary.
Tate doesn’t seem upset with the turnout of his career. In a statement, Golden Tate spoke on the opportunity, saying, “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 spent some time in the NFL as one of the most electrifying and athletic playmakers in the league. He’s an incredible athlete and has already seen success on the biggest stage. His transition back to baseball may be rusty and a bit slow, but his ability is there.
Not only is he an incredible athlete, but he has already proven himself against some of the best in the game. I only see a bright future ahead of him, and hopefully, he becomes the next NFL player to find their way into Major League Baseball success.