Meet the newest Met! Tim Tebow has signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets, the team announced on Thursday, September 8. He will play in the franchise’s Florida Instructional League, beginning in Port St. Lucie on September 18.
The former NFL quarterback, 29, has not played baseball since high school. He chose to pursue football and became a Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Florida, but his professional career was short-lived. He briefly played for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets from 2010 to 2012 and signed with several other teams, but he hasn't played in a game since 2012. The Instructional League, which was created for young major league prospects to develop their skills, will help Tebow get back into baseball.
Tebow explained that the transition to baseball has been a goal for quite some time. "It's been something that I've been thinking about for a little while and came close to pulling the trigger on last year," Tebow said during a press call, according to ESPN’s Adam Rubin. "Then, actually when I was in the middle of going through a day of training for baseball, [former Philadelphia Eagles football coach] Chip Kelly called and then I had to figure that out. … We all know how that turned out,” he said of being signed, then released by the Eagles.
The athlete said he knows that it will require a lot of dedication to make the roster for one of the Mets’ farm teams next year. "I know that it's not one that will be necessarily easy. I know this is a tough game,” he said. "But I'm looking forward to putting in the work, and I felt like this was the best fit.”
When asked how he will measure the success of his baseball pursuits, he responded, “I would consider success giving everything I have.”
Tebow hasn’t yet determined what position he will play, and he’s leaving it up to the Mets staff to decide. “My best position is whatever they feel like it is,” he said. "I feel comfortable in the outfield. I feel comfortable at first base.”
Once he starts playing, Tebow will still continue his job with ESPN as a college football analyst for the SEC Network (alongside Bachelorette winner and former NFL quarterback Jordan Rodgers). The Mets will allow Tebow to miss a few days each week in the Instructional League.
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