Former Florida Gator Tim Tebow To Try His Hand At Professional Baseball
By Chris Harry, FloridaGators.com // August 10, 2016
SOCIAL MEDIA DOUBTS TEBOW'S CHANCES
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA — The story moved on ESPN at 8:05 a.m. Tuesday and the reaction was predictable.
Wait! … WHAT?
Tim Tebow, out of the NFL for the last three seasons, is training for a go at professional baseball, with his super agents, Jimmy Sexton and Nick Khan, confirming the news while planning a tryout for Major League Baseball teams later this month.
the 2007 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida — last seen as a wash-out preseason QB in New England following stints with Denver (where he had some success) and the New York Jets (no success) — has been training in Arizona and Los Angeles for another crack at baseball, a sport at which he starred (along with football) during his prep days at Ponte Vedra Nease High.
Said Sexton: “Obviously we support Tim in his pursuit of a baseball career, as we have in all his ventures. Tim’s athletic ability, his work ethic, his leadership and his competitiveness were evident in football and will show in baseball. Knowing Tim’s passion and desire, we won’t be surprised by anything he accomplishes.”
The ensuing social media fallout, as you might expect, was rapid-fire.
I doubt this will be a big story today. https://t.co/YCx2Ql40dp
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) August 9, 2016
Tim Tebow wants to play in MLB, will fail at that too: https://t.co/SDEmmIVQdL pic.twitter.com/0FyfLYEuzO
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) August 9, 2016
If I told you Tim Tebow planned to try pro __________, "wrestling" and "bass fishing" would have been better guesses than "baseball."
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 9, 2016
Why wouldn’t Tebow just go play in Canada? Continue that dream.
— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) August 9, 2016
Look, Tebow remains one of the most polarizing sports figures of the last decade. That makes him serious click bait. Pretty amazing, actually, considering his professional sports career has been spent mostly as a backup, if that, though he’ll always have that OT touchdown pass for the Broncos to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2010 NFL playoffs.
ABOVE VIDEO: Tim Tebow’s OT touchdown pass for the Broncos to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2010 NFL playoffs.
Just last month, he got his share of clicks after it was reported (inaccurately) he would speak at the Republican National Convention, fueling speculation of a possible career in politics, a pursuit he has not ruled out, by the way.
For now, though, it’s baseball. For what it’s worth, Tebow was a superstar outfielder at Nease, where he batted .494 as a junior before putting down the bat to concentrate on football. That was in 2005.
Go ahead and mock Tebow, if you will. Yes, it’ll be hard to step into the box and face down a split-finger at 95 mph after 11 years, the last two sitting at an SEC Network booth. But who are we to tell someone (anyone) that they can’t pursue a dream?
In 1994, after retiring following his third straight NBA championship, Michael Jordan famously (and infamously) gave baseball a try and signed a contract with the Chicago White Sox. Jordan batted .202 (with three home runs and 51 RBI) in the Double-A Southern League, then .252 in the Arizona Fall League, before shutting it down and making his triumphant return to the Chicago Bulls.
Later in his career, Jordan was mocked for coming out of retirement to play for the Washington Wizards.
He “tarnished his legacy,” according to a bunch of so-called experts the likes of which said the same thing, for example, about Willie Mays with the Mets, Muhammad Ali against Larry Holmes, Mark Spitz’s comeback attempt to reach the Olympics at 41 and Emmitt Smith with the Arizona Cardinals.
Bottom line: When it’s your legacy, you can do what you want with it.
Good luck, No. 15.