In a momentous announcement, the San Diego Chargers have revealed that their legendary tight end Antonio Gates will be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame during the 2023 season. This will make Gates the 41st member to be enshrined in this prestigious group, as per an official press release from the team.

The induction ceremony is slated for December 10th and is set to take place during halftime at SoFi Stadium when the Chargers face off against their AFC West rivals, Denver Broncos.

Gates’ journey with the Chargers spans an impressive 16-year career after being signed as an undrafted free agent from Kent State where he played basketball. He hung up his NFL boots in January 2020 but not before leaving a significant mark on both his team and NFL history.

With a record-breaking tally of 116 touchdowns – more than any other tight end in NFL history – Gates ranks seventh on all-time touchdown receptions list. His name stands tall alongside some of football’s greatest wide receivers. Another noteworthy stat includes his record for tight ends with 21 multi-touchdown games.

Gates also holds records within his own team as its all-time leader in career receptions (955), receiving yards (11,841) and touchdown catches.

Chargers owner Dean Spanos was effusive in his praise for Gates stating: “Antonio is not only one of the greatest Chargers to ever play but also one of the greatest players in NFL history.” Spanos further highlighted how Antonio has shaped modern football and influenced how teams utilize tight ends today.

But it wasn’t just on-field contributions that made Gates worthy of this honor; he has been equally impactful off-field too. A supporter of Lupus Foundation America honoring his late sister Pamela, honorary chairman for Shoot to Cure HD group supporting Huntington’s Disease Society America, and host for annual Shop with Charger event aiding homeless people and abused children are among many causes he championed over years.

Former teammate Phillip Rivers reminisced about playing alongside him while Peyton Manning expressed admiration for Gate’s athletic ability, route running skills and hands-on approach towards game strategy execution

With eight Pro Bowl selections, five AP All-Pro selections (three first-team), membership on NFL All Decade Team for 2000s under belt along being part Chargers’50th Anniversary All-Time Team – it comes as no surprise that Antonio Gates is now set join ranks within Charger’s Hall Fame.