Tim Tebow’s career was a bust.
In fact, a double bust. Even better, one of the biggest busts in American sports history.
No one — and we mean, no one — got more play, pub, and love and did so little with it.
In the NFL, he failed.
In MLB’s minors, he failed.
On Wednesday, the Mets announced that Tebow had retired from professional baseball after five years as a minor leaguer in the New York Mets’ organization.
The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner tried his hand at baseball in 2016 after being a flop in the NFL as a quarterback.
The spin is that Tebow, 33, didn’t want to continue because he couldn’t fully commit to the game. Translation? He couldn’t hit.
In four spring trainings, Tebow batted a paltry .151 with one home run in 34 spring games. That won’t get you to Cooperstown.
For most, it would get you a bus ticket back home. For Tebow, a nice sendoff as if he accomplished something. The naked truth is that he really didn’t.
“I loved every minute of the journey, but at this time I feel called in other directions,” said Tebow in a statement released by the Mets. “I never want to be partially in on anything. I always want to be 100% in on whatever I choose. Thank you for everyone’s support of this awesome journey in baseball. I’ll always cherish my time.”
Tebow’s one shining moment in baseball was actually in his very first plate appearance. Some pitcher probably grooved a fastball, daring Tebow to hit it. And hit it, he did. Tebow homered in his first professional at-bat in an instructional league game against the St. Louis Cardinals in the fall of 2016. It was a script legends come from.
In reality, it was basically all downhill after that.
Many will write these glowing pieces of how Tebow gave it the old college try and how he should be congratulated for even trying to get to the majors after not playing the game for nearly a decade.
Stop the fluff and flowery send off. Tebow just wasn’t worthy.
Tebow was never making it to the majors. He wasn’t good enough. The Mets were just being nice to a nice guy they felt could help make them a few bucks. They claimed he was a winner and had the tangibles most just don’t have.
Most of the time, it’s just the case for players with no real stats to speak of.
At one point, there was noise that the Mets — down and out like so many other seasons — were thinking about bringing him up to the majors and giving him a shot. For sure, he would have sold some tickets and even more jerseys.
We saw his mass appeal. When he signed with the Mets originally, he had the highest selling jersey in the game for a brief moment.
But not even the lowly Mets could have faked the funk. It would have killed the organization’s credibility. Tebow just had not earned the right for a big league call up.
The only thing worse than his failed baseball career was his stint in the NFL.
This is where he was supposed to be a star.
Tebow was a college football legend at Florida. He was a two-time BCS national champion. A Heisman Trophy winner.
Then, he was the first-round draft pick (25th overall) of the Denver Broncos in 2010. The Broncos gave Baltimore their second-, third- and fourth-round picks. The great John Elway — a two-time Super Bowl winning QB — and coach Josh McDaniels were so convinced that Tebow was something special that they moved up in the draft to get him. “He has all the traits you look for,” McDaniels said then. “It’s a good pick.”
Many in the NFL were shocked by Denver’s decision.
Despite all his success on the college level, Tebow had a hard time throwing the football in the pros. In his NFL career, he completed a woeful 47.9 percent of his passes. Tebow had just 17 TDs and nine interceptions with a passer rating of 75.3. He bounced around between Denver, the New York Jets, the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. His last two stops he was just an offseason or practice squad player.
Yep, a bust in the NFL.
Many will say they never expected big things from Tebow. But many in high places and power did. That’s why he got so many opportunities — to fail twice.