Tim Tebow has suffered many crushing defeats in his career.
Dealing with losses is a major component of sports as well as life in general.
But Tebow just suffered a harrowing setback that could drastically change his professional career.
Tim Tebow first rose to prominence as a multi-sport high school star in Jacksonville. Tebow excelled at both football and baseball but chose to pursue football because he was a five-star prospect.
Tebow took his talents to the University of Florida where he won two national championships and the Heisman trophy.
After a relatively brief NFL career, Tebow chose to pursue baseball again at 29-years-old after a 13-year hiatus.
Many skeptics and staunch Tebow critics laughed at the move and called it a publicity stunt, but Tebow stuck with it and became a double-A all-star in only his second professional season in the New York Mets’ farm system.
MLB Network analyst Jon Morosi even predicted Tebow had earned a September call-up with the Mets who are mired in an abysmal season.
However, those plans ended when Tebow injured the hamate bone in his wrist during a routine swing in a game.
The injury will require surgery, ending Tebow’s season and any shot at a major league promotion.
While there’s always hope next season, the injury comes at a particularly bad time for Tebow.
The Mets’ last-place campaign presented a low-stakes opportunity for Tebow to get a late-season look in the majors. That unique situation may not present itself next year.
If the Mets rebound and find themselves in a pennant or wild card chase next year, they will be far less likely to take a flier on a mid-level double-A prospect like Tebow.
The Mets were in the World Series only three years ago, so a return to competitiveness wouldn’t be out of left field.
Also, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson — the man who took a chance on Tebow and said he’d eventually end up in the majors — is retiring due to health concerns.
His replacement may not be as optimistic or interested in Tebow as a prospect.
Furthermore, Tebow’s age is a factor. Once professional athletes cross the 30-year-old threshold, it becomes more difficult to bounce back from injury. Younger prospects might pass him by within the organization.
Tebow had also found a good rhythm. Last season, Tebow was a strikeout waiting to happen and didn’t generate consistent contact.
This year, opposing managers have commended Tebow for his improved plate discipline and mechanics, which was reflected in his .273 average and credible all-star game appearance.
An abrupt end to his season and a protracted recovery could cause Tebow to regress, forcing a long road back to the status quo.
Though Tebow’s baseball odds look a lot slimmer after this setback, nobody can question his determination.
Tebow has a maniacal work ethic and will do everything in his power to get back on the diamond and contribute.
It certainly wouldn’t be the first time he’s been doubted or mocked, and it wouldn’t be the first time he proved his doubters wrong.