Tim Tebow continues to find his footing in the New York Mets’ minor league farm system, yielding respectable results.
Tebow also continues to shake off the rust and perform like a player who was a draftable prospect in high school.
However, one fateful phone call might’ve delayed Tebow’s baseball progress.
While Tebow had already begun training for a baseball career, he got a phone call from then-Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly.
From the New York Post:
The Mets could use some help, and Tim Tebow is working his way through the minor league system so he may someday lend a hand.
But if not for one fateful phone call, he might already be with the big league club.
Tebow told Peter King on the MMQB Podcast he was taking batting practice in 2015, when Chip Kelly called to lure the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback to the Eagles.
“I’m literally in the on-deck circle, and my brother hands me the phone and says, ‘It’s Chip,’ ” Tebow said. “I’m thinking, like, really, I just got excited about [playing baseball], and now he calls, and I’m torn again.”
The job offer proved too much to turn down, and Tebow put his nascent baseball career on hold to compete for a third-string QB job with the Eagles.
He signed a one-year contract, played in all four preseason games that year and was released after the final preseason game. His last regular-season snap remains a Week 15 loss with the Jets in 2012.
That final flirtation with – and rejection by – the NFL ultimately brought Tebow to the Mets organization, where he is batting .250 with two home runs and 11 RBIs for Single-A Columbia.
Fans can only imagine where he might be now with two more years of pro ball under his belt. Just think: He could be slugging home runs at Citi Field already … or striking out. He also has 29 Ks in 28 games with the Fireflies.
Tebow isn’t the type of person to dwell on the past, but it’s interesting for fans to speculate on how much more progress he could’ve made in baseball had it not been for Kelly’s intervention.
Kelly was fired from the Eagles before the season was concluded, and he’s currently out of football after one miserable season with the San Francisco 49ers.
Tebow’s stint with the Eagles seemed to have been doomed from the start, as Kelly has said he prefers quarterbacks with “repeated accuracy” who throw on rhythm. That’s not really Tebow’s style.
With an added attention to baseball instead, perhaps Tebow could’ve made more headway and already risen to the Double-A level…or beyond.