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Tim Tebow retires from baseball after four years with Mets

Chris Cwik
·3-min read

Tim Tebow has called it a career ... in his second sport. Tebow surprisingly announced his retirement from baseball Wednesday, the New York Mets confirmed.

In a statement, Tebow thanked the organization, but said he's been "called in other directions."

“I want to thank the Mets, Mr. Alderson, the fans and all my teammates for the chance to be a part of such a great organization,” Tebow said. “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 percent in on whatever I choose. Thank you again for everyone’s support of this awesome journey in baseball, I’ll always cherish my time as a Met. #LGM"

Mets president Sandy Alderson said it was a pleasure to have Tebow in the organization and called Tebow a "consummate professional." Alderson added Tebow "far exceeded expectations when he first entered the system in 2016 and he should be very proud of his accomplishments."

After being released by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015, Tebow pursued a career in MLB. He signed a minor-league deal with the Mets in 2016, and attempted to work his way up through the team's farm system.

Tim Tebow jogs while wearing a blue Mets jersey and cap.
Tim Tebow runs in from left field during a Mets spring training game against the Miami Marlins on Feb 22, 2020, in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (AP Photo/Vera Nieuwenhuis)

Though Tebow was promoted to Triple-A, he struggled to put up numbers as he moved up the ladder. Through 287 minor-league games, Tebow put up a .233/.299/.338 slash line with 18 home runs.

His professional baseball career wasn't without a few highlights. Memorably, Tebow smacked a home run in his first ever professional at-bat. He also began his Double-A career with a home run.

In his brief appearances against major-league quality players, however, Tebow struggled. The Mets invited Tebow to spring training from 2017 to 2020, where he had two plate appearances against Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer. The first ended in a three-pitch strikeout. The second was exactly the same.

Tim Tebow was invited to spring training by Mets

Tebow's retirement comes as a surprise considering the Mets invited Tebow on Saturday to take part in spring training in 2021. While Tebow stayed mum about his baseball future, Alderson announced in November that Tebow would return for the 2021 season.

It was set to be a make-or-break season for Tebow. At 33, Tebow was running out of time to prove he deserved a shot at the majors. Throughout Tebow's tenure, the Mets faced criticism for aggressively promoting Tebow despite his poor numbers. Some believed the team moved Tebow along so it could sell more tickets at minor-league sites. Alderson never admitted that, but did say in 2017 the team signed Tebow "partly because of his celebrity."

In addition to playing with the Mets, Tebow also served as a college football analyst for ESPN. He signed a multi-year deal to stay with the company in 2017, where he has continued to break down the college game.

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