Spring 2021 Magazine

Tim Tebow announces baseball retirement, feels 'called in other directions'

Just days after receiving an invite to the New York Mets’ spring training for the fifth year in a row, Tim Tebow announced Wednesday that he is retiring from baseball. After a three-year NFL career from 2010-2012, he returned to baseball in 2016 for the first time since his junior year of high school and ultimately reached the Triple-A level.

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But after 287 professional games (77 in Triple-A) and a career batting average of .223, Tebow says he now feels called to leave the game.

“I want to thank the Mets, Mr. (Sandy) Alderson (the team president), the fans and all my teammates for the chance to be a part of such a great organization,” Tebow said in a statement. “I loved every minute of the journey, but at this time I feel called in other directions.

“I never want to be partially in on anything. I always want to be 100% in on whatever I choose. Thank you again for everyone’s support of this awesome journey in baseball, I’ll always cherish my time.”

Tebow hit a home run in his first professional at-bat, which came in an instructional league game in the fall of 2016. In 2018, he earned All-Star honors at the Double-A level, and he spent 2019 at Triple-A, batting .163 with four home runs before a laceration on his left hand ended his season early. He hit his first spring training home run in 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic hit soon thereafter and the minor-league season was canceled.

“It has been a pleasure to have Tim in our organization, as he’s been a consummate professional during his four years with the Mets,” Alderson said in a statement. “By reaching the Triple-A level in 2019, he far exceeded expectations when he first entered the system in 2016 and he should be very proud of his accomplishments.”

The 33-year-old lefty-hitting outfielder — who won college football’s Heisman Trophy in 2007, was a first-round NFL draft pick in 2010, and is an SEC Network football analyst in the fall — didn’t indicate exactly where he feels he’s being called to. However, it will surely be ministry of some sort, whether that’s preaching in churches or prisons, producing movies, or spreading God’s love through the Tim Tebow Foundation and its annual Night to Shine events.

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