Christian athlete Tim Tebow, a former NFL quarterback who launched a minor league baseball career in 2016, announced his retirement from professional baseball and the New York Mets organization on Wednesday.
Tebow stated in a tweet that he “loved every minute” of his baseball career but feels “called in other directions.”
He also thanked the Mets, team president Sandy Alderson, his fans and teammates.
“I never want to be partially in on anything,” Tebow declared. “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 as a Met! #LGM”
In a statement released by the team, Alderson said it had “been a pleasure” to have Tebow in the organization.
“He’s been a consummate professional during his four years with the Mets," Alderson said. "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.”
Tebow signed with the New York Mets at age 29 in September 2016. Prior to joining the organization, the former NFL first-round draft pick and Heisman Trophy winner hadn't played organized baseball since high school.
In his three minor league seasons, Tebow compiled a .223 batting average with 18 home runs, 48 doubles and five stolen bases in 287 games.
Tebow played for multiple Mets minor league affiliate teams, including the Columbia Fireflies, the St. Lucie Mets and the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. In 2019, he played for the Syracuse Mets, the team’s Triple-A affiliate, for 77 games until an injury ended his season.
Tebow did not play any games in 2020 since the minor league season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a minor league baseball player, Tebow attracted significantly more fans than average, which is known as the “Tebow Effect.”
Baseball America estimates that Tebow brought in an extra $1.6 million in revenue while on the road in the 2017 season.
Tebow was a quarterback in the NFL from 2010-2012 for the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets after a successful college football career as a University of Florida Gator, where he won two national championships. Tebow is known for his faith and often knelt to pray before NFL games and often wrote Bible verses on his eye black.
Tebow joined ESPN in December 2013 as a college football analyst for “SEC Nation” and often appears on ESPN and SEC Network programming.
The fifth child of missionaries to the Philippines, Tebow is also the founder and chairman of the Tim Tebow Foundation, an organization that aims to “serve children and share God’s love” through special needs ministry, orphan care and prevention, children with profound medical needs and anti-human trafficking efforts. The Tim Tebow Foundation partnered with Christian organization CURE International to construct a hospital in the Philippines that opened in 2015.