Don’t look now, but Tim Tebow is back.
No, he’s not throwing winning touchdown passes in the playoffs as quarterback for the Denver Broncos anymore.
He’s becoming a legitimate prospect in the New York Mets baseball organization.
This year, his batting average is up 44 points from last year. He has moved from A-ball last year to Double-A this year with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies of the Eastern League. He’s hitting .270 with 33 RBIs and five homers, a triple and 12 doubles. He is still striking out four times more than he is walking, but he is showing huge signs of progress.
I have to admit, I didn’t used to like Tebow. He was an outstanding quarterback from the University of Florida where he never made negative headlines. He was a great college quarterback, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and two national championships. He threw for 9,286 yards in college with 88 touchdowns to just 16 interceptions. He ran for another 57 touchdowns. He won countless awards for being an athlete and an overall good guy.
He was maligned as an NFL quarterback after the Broncos picked him in the first round of the 2010 Draft. He completed just half of his pass attempts in his first year with the Broncos with five TDs to three interceptions.
The next year, he completed just 46.5 percent of his tosses with 12 TDs and 6 picks. But he led the team to the playoffs and threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He then played for the New York Jets but never really got a shot. After his release, he signed with the New England Patriots but was cut in the preseason. Same thing with the Philadelphia Eagles ... cut in the preseason.
In all, Tebow threw for just 2,422 yards in three NFL seasons.
Tebow was still a polarizing figure. He was demeaned for kneeling in prayer after touchdowns (called Tebowing)...something about NFL players kneeling, right?
Despite all the haters, Tebow stayed true to his convictions. People called for him to just go away. Why try baseball?
But he kept with it. It must take some real guts to do what he did in this day and age of social media trollers stalking you and criticizing you at every turn.
But he went for it anyway. If football wasn’t going to give him a fair shake, maybe baseball would.
In 2016, Tebow signed a minor league contract with the Mets. In his first at-bat, he hit a home run.
Still built like a tank, Tebow is adjusting to baseball life.
He is still known for his Christian faith. He helps with charities across the world, with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and smartly, keeps his comments away from politics.
How can you not admire that?
Yeah, I didn’t like Tebow back in the day, but I have grown to think quite positively of him. He hasn’t cussed at the president, disrespected the flag or got into any legal trouble. And although he set himself up for a big fall by putting his beliefs out there, he was never called a hypocrite.
If I had been blessed with his ability and his fame, I doubt I would have handled things nearly as well. And if he becomes a Major Leaguer, he could stick it to all his haters ... but he wouldn’t do that.