May 23, 2014 at 1:00 am

Lions receiver Golden Tate takes swings with Tigers, hits home run

Lions receiver Golden Tate, right, talks with Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter during batting practice Friday at Comerica Park. Hunter's son, Torii Jr., plays football at Notre Dame, Tate's alma mater. (Robin Buckson / Detroit News)

We know he can catch.

Golden Tate can hit, too.

The new Lions wide receiver strolled into Comerica Park on Friday afternoon, ahead of the Tigers’ pregame workouts, and took some batting practice.

And Tate hit a home run. Not that he was all that impressed with himself.

“Probably like 332 (feet),” Tate, dressed in Tigers shorts and a T-shirt, told reporters, including the Oakland Press’ Matthew B. Mowery. “It just barely went over.”

After his swings, Tate chatted up Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter. Hunter’s son, Torii Jr., is a wide receiver at Notre Dame, Tate’s alma mater.

Tate, 25, was a two-sport star at Notre Dame, in football and baseball. He played two seasons on the baseball team, hitting .329 in 55 games his sophomore season, which was his last.

A left-handed speedster, he twice was drafted by baseball teams, the Diamondbacks out of high school and the Giants in college. Both times, he declined to sign, knowing his future was in football.

That’s despite having a baseball middle name — Herman, as in George Herman Ruth.

Tate, a second-round pick in the 2010 NFL draft, won a Super Bowl last season with the Seattle Seahawks before signing a five-year, $31 million contract with the Lions.

tpaul@detroitnews.com
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