Tim Tebow Not Your Average Multi Sport Athlete Tim Tebow Not Average Multi Sport Athlete

SYRACUSE, N.Y.– By now, we all know that Tim Tebow is trying to add his name to the short list of athletes to play two professional sports. Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson are two of the most recent names to have done so successfully. However, unlike Sanders and Jackson, Tebow took some time off from baseball when he committed to play football at Florida State. It wasn’t so much of a ‘break’, but more of an 11-year hiatus.

Before signing to play in the New York Mets organization in 2016, Tebow hadn’t played baseball competitively since his junior year of high school. He hit .494 with four home runs for Nease High School that season, taking his team to the Final Four. But, he decided to drop the bat and focus entirely on football at Florida State. The roles are now reversed.

Just because he didn’t play baseball for the Gators doesn’t mean Tebow didn’t think about it. In fact, he often joked with his coach that he wanted to play both.

“Even when I went to Florida, me and Urban [Meyer] would argue all the time, ‘I think I’m going to go play baseball this year. He mostly recruited me when I was playing baseball and he came to a lot of my baseball games.”


Tim Tebow practices base running at the Syracuse Mets spring training.
Tim Tebow practices base running at the Syracuse Mets spring training.
© 2019 Olivia Conte

Joking or not, playing baseball in college might have made his transition to the MLB much easier. For Tebow’s current teammates on the Syracuse Mets, baseball is their profession. Many of them are veterans, having played in both Triple-A and the Major Leagues for years.

Even those that have never been called up spent years playing through the farm system, including catcher Colton Plaia.  He said the long, intensive training process makes Tebow’s accomplishments so far even more impressive.

“You learn that baseball is more than just athleticism. He [Tebow] is kind of a freak athlete, he can do a lot of things. While I haven’t been on a team with him yet, I’ve seen the improvements he’s made.”

There was never a question about Tebow’s athleticism, but he was doubted in just about every other aspect. People criticized his size, his throwing motion and even his intentions. But Tebow never lets it get in his head.

“It’s not easy, so you have to be able to lock in and have that mental toughness where you, if you need to, you block out the fans, you block out the naysayers, you bock out the media.”

Tebow has been unstoppable, already making it to Triple-A after just three years. He’s showing no signs of slowing down. Who knows, give him three months and maybe he’ll be at Citi Field.




ANCHOR: Three years ago, former football star Tim Tebow set his sights on becoming a major league baseball player. Now, he’s one step away from doing just that. Reporter Olivia Conte shares why Tebow hasn’t given up on baseball, even after scouts, the media and people in his inner circle doubted him

OLIVIA CONTE: Tim Tebow is taking batting practice instead of calling plays from the line of scrimmage. He faced a lot of speculation when he announced that he would pursue a major league baseball career in 2016. Baseball scouts called his early tryouts a waste of time and a media stunt. But Tebow didn’t let those voices distract him.

TIM TEBOW: Having mental toughness and being able to stop that thought right in its tracks is important. If not, this game is too hard, and you get out a lot in it.

CONTE: That mentality paid off…because one year later, Tebow found himself in Columbia, South Carolina…playing for a New York Mets affiliate. He was on the rise…but still wasn’t always taken seriously.

TEBOW: I remember I was in low A, and I think I went 0-for-9 against Lexington with one walk in the series against them. And every time, throughout all warmups and during the game, they would just play all my worst football plays on the screen.

CONTE: If anything, it was just fuel for the fire. The following year, he moved up to the Mets Double-A, affiliate in Binghamton. That season, Tebow had a .273 batting average and hit six home runs. With his impressive stat line, people started to take notice…including Syracuse Mets general manager Jason Smorol.

JASON SMOROL: To be at Double-A at, like, .280…human beings can’t do that. So, anybody that says anything negative about Tim Tebow’s athletic ability or achievements or accomplishments is absolutely ridiculous. And I’ve never even met the guy.

CONTE: Tebow is known for his achievements in football, not in baseball. So why would he leave the sport that made him a household name?

TEBOW: It was also one of my first loves. When I was four years old and I put on a White Sox uniform and I was number 35 just like Frank Thomas. That was the first team I ever played for, in any sport. So, it just kind of was in my heart.

CONTE: Baseball stayed in his mind and in his heart. Like a classic Hollywood movie, he chased his first love…even if it meant being his own cheerleader.

TEBOW: I also did it without a lot of support, with very few people. Even on my team, you know, as agents or people were kind of like ‘eh’. They’re going to say the right thing, but they were like ‘what are you doing’, you know?

CONTE: Tebow’s current teammates can tell you exactly what he is doing. Fellow outfielders Rajai Davis, Carlos Gomez and Gregor Blanco have years of experience playing in the MLB. Blanco said that Tebow’s willingness to learn is pushing him closer to playing in the major leagues.

GREGOR BLANCO: We are all the veterans in the outfield, and he listens in every single aspect. We are just trying to help him to actually have his dream to become a major league player. I think he’s one step away, and who knows, he can do it.

CONTE: Tebow is the closest he’s ever been to becoming a major league baseball player. Even with the progress he’s made and the promise of the future, Tebow says his focus is on appreciating the work he is doing right now.

TEBOW: It’s very exciting, but at the same time, it’s going to take a lot more work. But also enjoy the process every day. Enjoy every opportunity I get. That’s something I try to take a lot of pride in, just having fun. It’s not just the destination, it’s truly enjoying the journey.

CONTE: Olivia Conte, N-C-C News.

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