Tha Sports Junkies 101

Does Tim Tebow Have a Prayer?



Tim Tebow wants to play professional baseball, but he will need a Hail Mary to do it.

Seemingly out of nowhere, word came out on Tuesday morning that ex-NFL quarterback Tim Tebow has legitimate aspirations to play professional baseball.  The former Heisman Trophy winner has not played competitive baseball since his junior year of high school.  That was a dozen years ago, but Tebow reportedly batted a respectable .494.  His representatives are advertising him as a corner outfielder.

Does Tebow Have a Chance?

The list of athletes who have switched over from football to baseball over the past 40 years is extremely limited.  Most famously, Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders managed to play both sports at the same time.  The only other player of note who made the move from the NFL to the MLB is former Braves’ outfielder Brian Jordan.  Jordan was a safety for the Atlanta Falcons until he made the full-time switch to baseball in 1992.  Believe it or not, Jordan put together a very solid 15 year career in Major League Baseball.  Jackson, Sanders, and especially Jordan should give Tebow hope that he can perform with the best baseball players on the planet.

A lot of professional athletes have tried and failed to play professional baseball, but there is one shining example.  Michael Jordan, considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all-time, left the NBA in the midst of his prime to play the sport that he always loved.  The Chicago White Sox signed Jordan, but the six-time NBA Champion never replicated his success that he had on the hardwood.  Jordan never advanced past Double-A.  Michael Jordan’s biggest contribution to the Sox was selling tickets.

A video of Tebow recently hitting in a cage surfaced on Twitter:

Tebow does appear to display some serious bat speed.  His strength could translate to some home run power.  Tebow was a relatively run-happy quarterback with the Denver Broncos, which is part of the reason why President John Elway dispatched him.  Don’t expect the two-time National Champion to be stealing too many bases, but Tebow’s agility should make him an average baserunner while also enabling him to cover ground as an outfielder.

Throwing a football and throwing a baseball are two totally different mechanical motions.  After years of tossing the pigskin, Tebow should have plenty of arm strength translate to the diamond.  But Tebow was always known for his poor accuracy as a quarterback.  He may struggle to hit cut-off men in key situations and in-turn cost his team runs.  There’s no doubt that Tebow will be a team player.  In his years at Florida, he was constantly a leader on-and-off the field.  Although college athletics is nothing really like the professional environment, Tebow would bring a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard every day.

Former all-star slugger Gary Sheffield thinks Tebow can play:

It may seem crazy, but I think that Tim Tebow will receive a minor-league contract in the coming weeks.  Honestly, a lot of teams have nothing to lose by sticking him on a lower-level affiliate.  Tebow turns 29 this Sunday, so he will have to progress through the minors quickly if he has any shot of playing in the Majors.  For most teams, the worst-case scenario is that Tebow doesn’t perform, but he will sell-out a lot more games for his team.  Whether he can really play or not, Tebow is definitely worth a flyer.