On Tim Tebow's MLB dreams and Adam Jones' NFL tweet - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dan Connolly

On Tim Tebow’s MLB dreams and Adam Jones’ NFL tweet

So Tim Tebow, the former Heisman Trophy Award-winning and NFL quarterback, is trying to make a comeback.

As a baseball player?

He’ll be 29 this month. He hasn’t played since he was a junior in high school – and was a very good prep player – in Florida.

There are lots of really good prep players from Florida who have been drafted, toiled in the minors and never made it to the majors.

And they didn’t have an 11-plus-year respite from facing quality pitching.

Multiple reports say that Tebow, presumably an outfielder, is going to hold a showcase later this month. No official word if the Orioles will be there, but executive vice president Dan Duquette is known for turning over every last rock for potential players.

Tebow does have a tenuous connection to the Orioles; he reportedly has been working out for months with Chad Moeller at the former Oriole catcher’s baseball academy in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Moeller was one of the brightest, most-articulate guys I’ve ever covered. I always thought he’d end up in a front office somewhere.

Moeller has been quoted as saying Tebow, “has the skill set and potential to achieve his goal of playing in the Major Leagues.”


So there’s that. And maybe Tebow does. But I can’t stress how much of a longshot this is. Baseball is the hardest game in the world to master; the odds of taking more than a decade off and then getting to the top level of the sport in your 30s are, frankly, almost insurmountable.

Jim Morris did it and they made a Disney movie about him; but that doesn’t really count, because he was a left-handed pitcher. They have more lives than cats.

Sure, Tebow has defied the odds before. But that was as a football player – while playing FOOTBALL.

We all know about all-world basketball player Michael Jordan’s attempt (a .202 average in Double-A Birmingham in 127 games as a 31-year-old) to play pro baseball in 1994. Former NBA All Star Tracy McGrady tried it in 2014 at 35, posting a 6.75 ERA in four starts as a pitcher for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League.

Yes, there have been some two-sport athletes who have made the majors. But none have had such a layoff as Tebow. Deion Sanders was in the majors at 21, a year after he was drafted by the New York Yankees out of college. While excelling in the NFL, Sanders spent parts of nine seasons in the majors – but most of that time was before his 30th birthday.

Milford Mill’s Brian Jordan was drafted in the first round of the 1988 draft out of college and played minor league baseball and pro football simultaneously for three seasons before carving out a 15-year, big league career as an outfielder.

It can be done, but not if you haven’t played the sport for nearly a dozen years.

I don’t begrudge Tebow for wanting to try it, but it’s laughable that some believe he has a chance to make it to the majors. The game is too hard. The layoff too long. The advancing age and inexperience too formidable to overcome.

Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said as much today on Twitter — facetiously and without mentioning Tebow by name:

It sounds outlandish. Because it is. For Jones, who was clearly being tongue-in-cheek, and for Tebow, who apparently is being serious.



  1. TheWalkingEd

    August 9, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Was he being “tongue-in-cheek” or was he being just another person taking another shot at Tebow because it’s been the thing to do?

    I know he was only 8-9, and I cannot speak to whether he liked The NBA at the time, but I’d be curious to know what 10’s thoughts were/are regarding Michael Jordan”s attempt at baseball.

    Do you think he would be similarly dismissive of Jordan?

    I don’t.

    • Danny Machado

      August 10, 2016 at 5:38 am

      Michael Jordan had also proven himself to be an exceptional player in a professional league. Tebow was never even a good player in the NFL and refused to take steps (eg: learning to play QB in the CFL, switching positions, etc.) to improve himself that were suggested by coaches/front offices. I believe the reason why Tebow is getting ridiculed right now (in addition to his pursuit being preposterous) is that it plays into the belief that he is un-self aware and slightly delusional. I don’t think MJ could ever be said to have those qualities.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 10, 2016 at 9:10 am

      My point, and I think Jones’ point, is that you just don’t pick up where you left off trying to hit a baseball a decade later. I think that point remains whether it is Jordan, Tebow, McGrady whomever. More about the game than the name.

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 10, 2016 at 7:35 am

    The Ego is a funny thing. And clearly Mr. Tebo’s is out of whack. I agree with Danny Machado (see above) that he’s “slightly delusional”, although “slightly”, is being a bit kind. From a man that was above even attempting to change positions or his role to further his football career, I find it laughable to think he’d be willing to ride a bus and pay his dues in the bushes. My advice to Mr. Tebow would be to continue his current TV career track while riding his SEC legacy to the grave. Don’t blow even that by making a fool of yourself in the meantime.

  3. John in Cincy

    August 13, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    It’s incredible how much ill will there is towards Tim Tebow by some of those commenting. Let the man have his dreams. Just because he’s going after a long shot doesn’t make him delusional by any stretch. He has real skills. Whether they’re sufficient for him to make it to bigs is to be discovered, but that some former major leaguers say he has something to offer is worth noting without derision.

    First, if someone as knowledgeable about the game as Chad Moeller has sent out word that Tebow has the skillset and potential to make it, that counts for something.

    Then, too, nine-time All Star Gary Sheffield (lifetime over 500 HR & 1600 RBI) has seen Tebow hitting and says he’s absolutely legit.

    Granted, there’s a huge difference between hitting in a cage and hitting MLB pitching, and that’s where it’s make or break for Tebow. As far as “advanced age”, I’d tend to disagree except in the sense of calendar years. He’s probably a young 29, having gotten through the NFL reasonably unscathed (hard to get injured riding the bench). He’s probably in better shape than some of the players on the Orioles’ roster.

    Finally, there’s Tebow’s tremendous competitiveness, and from what those who saw him in high school say, his speed, power, good routes as an outfielder, baseball IQ, character, and instincts. If anyone can beat the odds, he should be the one to do it.

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