Wide receiver Eric Decker of the New York Jets believes that Tim Tebow would be a huge-ticket item in baseball if signed by an minor league team and working his way up.
Tim Tebow, a former Heisman Trophy winner and once big name entering the 2010 NFL Draft out of Florida, has now decided to make the transition from football to professional baseball. A former quarterback of the Denver Broncos Broncos, New York Jets, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, Tebow was never able to secure a starting gig as an NFL quarterback. He was also unable to earn a roster spot in general after he was traded from the Broncos to the Jets in 2012.
Many believe if the Florida Gator product would’ve followed the path of Terrell Pryor who transitioned from a quarterback to a wide receiver, the 29-year-old free agent would still be playing professional football today, possibly as a full back. Nevertheless, Tebow refused to switch positions and has ultimately found himself on the outside looking in.
With his NFL career officially behind him, Tebow has decided to give professional baseball a whirl. It’s not entirely impossible for him to succeed in another sport. We’ve seen several professional athletes such as Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders and others not only transition from one sport to another, but also play multiple sports at once.
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Tebow has already received positive endorsements from athletes such as Gary Sheffield who said that he watched Tebow in batting practice and even went on to tweet that he’s a natural.
Another endorsement came from his former teammate Eric Decker, who believes that Tebow will be a big-ticket item for a teams minor league system.
According to an article from Newsday.com written by Kimberly A. Martin, when Decker was asked about his former teammates potential in professional baseball, he said:
“I don’t know what the chances are, but if I was a Double-A or Single-A team, I’m signing him to get ticket sales up,” said the Jets receiver after practice. “I’m sure he’ll have success in that field. But as far as the skill aspect, I think hitting a baseball is one of the hardest things, so it’ll be interesting to see his progress.”
Decker knows very well the difficulty in making solid contact with a baseball as he played outfield at Minnesota and was drafted twice by a MLB team. Once in 2008 by the Milwaukee Brewers and a second time the following year by the Minnesota Twins.
The big question on everyone’s mind is can he do it? Can he turn a disappointing, short NFL career into a long prosperous MLB career? During that same article written by Martin, when Decker was asked if Tebow can make it in baseball, he said:
“Well of course, he’s going to do it because someone’s going to sign him,” Decker said, with a smile on his face. “I guarantee you that because it’s Tim Tebow and [Fans are] coming to a baseball game with a football jersey on. I want to see what kind of player he is. I haven’t seen him play baseball, but he’s an athlete. He’s a guy that works tremendously hard, so obviously he’s going to put everything he’s got into it. So we’ll see.”
While many have gone on to positively endorse Tebow’s decision to pursue a career in baseball, let’s look at the reality of the situation. He’s 29-years-old and has not played baseball since high school. Let’s say he has an impressive workout and does indeed receive an offer from an organizations minor league system, which he will, there is no guarantee he’ll be successful.
Even though it was with the independent Atlantic league, if Tracy McGrady can do it then so can Tebow. Just his name in general will boost ticket sales and attract a much larger fan attendance each game. However, as previously mentioned, Tebow is 29-years old. He will definitely start from the bottom and work his way up from a Single-a system, through their Triple-A farm system and then eventually a call up to the pros, which is a long shot considering he hasn’t played baseball in quite some time. By all accounts, his career in the pros will be short-lived as he’ll be well into his thirties once he’s even close to being ready for the pros.
Overall yes, I believe because of his name, Tebow will receive an offer to join an organizations minor league system. However, a career in the pros is a definite long shot. It’s quite possible that if he does excel in the minors he may receive a call up temporarily if a player is injured and the team is in need of depth at that certain position, or when the rosters expands to 40 in September. Other than that, it’s hard to envision Tebow having a long and successful career in the MLB. One thing is for sure, as Decker pointed out, Tebow does indeed work tremendously hard and will without a doubt give this baseball dream of his everything he has.