Former Seattle Seahawks receiver joins college-aged baseball league

A well-known NFL receiver will soon be returning to his college baseball roots — in the Pacific Northwest, of all places, and not far from where he played professionally.

On Wednesday, the Port Angeles, Wash., Lefties announced that they had signed Golden Tate for the remainder of the West Coast League’s 2022 season.

Sports fans in western Canada will likely recall Tate playing 11 seasons in the NFL, including his first four with the Seattle Seahawks (2010-13) before rounding out his career with Detroit, Philadelphia and the New York Giants.

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In his last season with Seattle, the Seahawks won the Super Bowl.

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The West Coast League is a summer development league for college-aged baseball players.

With Tate, 33, being a former professional athlete, one would think he’d be ineligible to play in the league.

However, he played college baseball and was drafted twice, but never signed a pro contract, therefore making him eligible to play in the WCL. In baseball terms, he’s considered an amateur.

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Port Angeles is located on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington, directly south of Victoria.

“I am extremely thankful to the West Coast League and the Port Angeles Lefties for allowing me to join their league,” said the 5-foot-11 Tate, who was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007, then the San Francisco Giants in 2010.

“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.”

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“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.”

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So, what does this mean for Canadian baseball fans? Well, not much, as the Lefties say Tate will only be playing in home games, meaning he won’t be travelling across the border to play in B.C.

He was scheduled to play Wednesday night as the Lefties’ starting centre fielder against the visiting Bend, Ore., Elks.

The Lefties’ remaining schedule will see them visit Kamloops June 24-26; Kelowna July 26-28; and Nanaimo Aug. 5-7.

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“It’s a really unique situation,” said Jim Swanson, managing partner of the Victoria HarbourCats. “He was drafted twice and never signed.

“He’s generating a lot of interest and awareness in the league, and that’s great.”

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