Spring 2021 Magazine

Tim Tebow receives 5th spring training invite as Night to Shine events celebrate 'kings and queens'

Tim Tebow is a busy man with many pursuits, and this past weekend was special for a couple different reasons.

On Friday, his foundation hosted its seventh annual Night to Shine, a prom night celebration for people with special needs. Tebow made stops at a few different locations with his wife, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, visiting host churches during the worldwide event.

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In an effort to be as safe as possible, the churches involved organized “Shine-Thru” parades so participants could stay in their cars.

“This is not just a Shine-Thru, this is not just a parade,” Tebow said in a video posted to Twitter. “This is an incredible night where we are celebrating every single one of these kings and queens.”

The Tim Tebow Foundation’s main goal in organizing Night to Shine every year is to spread God’s love and remind the participants they are valued and treasured by the One who created them.

“All of the kings and queens are going to have an amazing night,” Tebow said in the same video. “But you know what? It’s going to carry on long after tonight because they know that the God of this universe loves them so much. That’s what this is really for, is that we get to share their worth and their value that only God gives them.”

He also shared a note from one of the event coordinators about the impact Night to Shine had on her family, thanking Tebow for his work within the special needs community:

Then on Saturday, the New York Mets announced Tebow was one of 75 invitees to the team’s spring training in Port St. Lucie, Florida. It’s the fifth year in a row that he’s received an invite; he hit his first spring training home run last season before camps closed due to the pandemic.

With the 2020 minor league season later being canceled, that spring training stint is the only action Tebow’s seen since 2019, when he hit .163 with four home runs and 19 RBIs in 77 games for the Syracuse Mets in Triple-A.

The 33-year-old — who won the Heisman Trophy in college, played three years in the NFL, and is an SEC Network football analyst in the fall — still has not given up on his goal of reaching the majors at some point.

“[Playing in the majors] would obviously be something that would be special, and I think another part of the dream,” Tebow said last spring. “Part of it’s just playing every day and enjoying it and competing, which I love. Obviously, that would be awesome. It would be a lie if I said that wouldn’t be super cool… But I wouldn’t say it would be a success or failure if that did or did not happen.”

The Mets’ pitchers and catchers report on Wednesday followed by the rest of the team coming Monday. Their first spring-training game is March 1 against the Miami Marlins. Tebow has hit .151 in 34 career spring-training games.

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