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Tim Tebow receives New York Mets 2021 spring training invitation

Matt Fitzgerald
Tim Tebow retires from baseball
Feb 28, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets outfielder Tim Tebow walks back to the dugout after striking out in the fourth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets announced Tim Tebow as part of their 2021 spring training roster on Saturday, as the former NFL and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback continues to pursue a baseball career.

Tebow has been with the Mets organization since 2016 but has never reached the MLB level, so his spring training invitation doesn’t signal that as a possibility.

Tim Tebow to attend New York Mets 2021 spring training

In a post on their official Twitter account, the Mets revealed their spring training invitees along with the full club roster:

It’s nothing new for Tebow to partake in spring ball for the Metropolitans, as he’s done so for several years — albeit with not much success.

Although the fanfare that inevitable accompanies Tebow will make him the most notable minor-leaguer to be invited to spring training for New York, it’s also a chance to look at some of the organization’s other prospects who have better chances to contribute to the team’s future. The buzz and attention Tebow will create might be a blessing in disguise and a better taste of what the younger players can expect when they arrive in MLB and the Big Apple’s unforgiving media market.

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Tim Tebow stats, future baseball outlook

Feb 25, 2020; Lakeland, Florida, USA; New York Mets assistant hitting coach Tom Slater (left) talks with outfielder Tim Tebow (85) during the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

At age 33, Tebow is running out of time to make his potential ascent to the major leagues a reality. However, he was counted out before and wound up throwing for 316 yards in an overtime playoff win for the Denver Broncos against the Pittsburgh Steelers, so who’s to entirely discount Tebow’s ambitions of making it to the Mets someday, unlikely as it seems?

To be fair to Tebow, making such a late decision to pivot to another major sport isn’t easy. It’s actually impressive he’s accomplished what he has to date.

Following a bit of a rocky start in Class A during the 2017 campaign, Tebow moved up to Double-A and put forth an exceptional effort, batting .273 with six home runs and 36 RBI in 84 games for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

That’s a satisfying team name to type. Thanks to the momentum Tebow gained from his productive Binghamton stint, he got promoted to Triple-A ball in Syracuse — just one notch below playing in the MLB.

But as prospects ascend each level of Class A, the competition goes up considerably. Tebow got a taste of that in 2019 when he hit just .163 and struck out 98 times in 239 at-bats.

The minor league season got canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so maybe the time away provided Tebow with a chance to refresh himself, train up and return to the diamond with renewed confidence and dedication to possibly make an unfathomable push all the way to the Mets’ MLB team.

Tebow being invited to spring training is more of a formality that other players who might have more merit could frown upon. That said, Tebow is nothing if not a great teammate who many people admire, whether they’re into pro baseball, football or celebrate him for what he did as a national champion during his decorated college career at the University of Florida.

Gimmicky as it may be on some level, Tebow’s presence will definitely create interest around the Mets that otherwise wouldn’t be there — and who knows, if Tebow winds up earning another spot in Triple-A and plays decent enough, maybe he’ll get the call from New York to come up. What a scene it would be.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Mets, check out #LGM rumors, rankings, and news here.