When Tim Tebow announced he would be pursuing a career in professional baseball, the skeptics came out of the woodwork in droves.
Tebow, who last played baseball as a dual-sport athlete at Nease High in Jacksonville, has been out of the NFL for several years. But he’s stayed in shape, and his name alone brought 28 professional scouts to his tryout.
He agreed to a deal with the New York Mets — which reportedly included a $100,000 signing bonus — and was sent to Port St. Lucie to play in the instructional league.
And on Wednesday, Tebow’s professional career got off to the best start possible.
The 29-year-old former Heisman Trophy winner sent the first pitch from former Vanderbilt pitcher John Kilichowski over the wall for an opposite-field home run. It’s the first of his career — and with that display of power, likely not his last.
— Luis Torres (@LFTorresIII) September 28, 2016
“It was fun. I just wanted to have the approach that I was going to be aggressive,” Tebow said after the game. “That’s something that we’ve been talking about here every day and practicing it.”
Tebow would subsequently go 0-for-5 with no strikeouts while playing five innings in left field, and he felt his debut was promising.
“I liked a lot of my at-bats today,” Tebow said. “I hit the ball really hard four out of the six times. … Four of the at-bats I felt really, really good about. Didn’t swing at any breaking balls, didn’t feel like I got fooled seeing it out of the (pitcher’s) hand.”
The New York Mets play the Miami Marlins in the instructional league tomorrow at noon.