When former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow said he wanted to play professional baseball after his short lived pro football career, the scoffing could be heard across the country as sports writers rolled their eyes and joked about his aspirations.
But with Tebow coming in during his first season of Class A ball as a .300 hitter, and packing the stands with fans excited to see him even at away games, one has to accept that the former NFL player has firmly proven the naysayers wrong.
That is the conclusion of ForTheWin.com’s Charles Curtis who felt called to write a piece on Monday coming to Tebow’s support and saying that the Heisman Trophy winner is now ripping it up on the field for the Columbia Fireflies.
Curtis still said he doubts Tebow has the stuff to make it in the Majors, but, despite that, he has already beaten expectations:
Let’s have a record-scratch moment here before we go on: I’m certainly not saying that he’s a future Major Leaguer by any stretch. I don’t think he’s good enough to play for the New York Mets anytime soon or probably ever.
But you know what he’s done? Proved all of his haters wrong, and that’s something.
That is quite an admission from someone who had no end of columns scoffing at Tebow’s baseball dreams and laughing at him for even trying.
Our expectations were extremely low, and they still are. But did you expect Tebow to hit more than, say, one home run? Did you expect him to string together a 12-game hitting streak or to get four multi-hit games in his past six contests? Did you expect him to make a couple of highlight-reel defensive plays?
The sports writer admitted, “I know I sure didn’t, even though I know Tebow is a pretty athletic dude.”
In the end, Curtis had to admit that Tebow already has the haters “eating crow”:
So even if this is as far as Tebow gets in his quest to play Major League Baseball, that’s more than we all thought was possible. At the very least, the haters—myself included—have some crow to eat.
Curtis isn’t alone in exhibiting amazement that Tebow hasn’t been just a flash-in-the-pan, one-off publicity stunt for the Mets farm team. Yahoo! Sports, for instance, posted a July 24 story saying that “Tebow has been putting up some strong numbers since his promotion,” to Single A ball.
“You can write off Tebow’s performance, but you can’t take away his numbers. He’s hitting like a 29-year-old should at High A,” Yahoo! Sports added.
Newsday also made the seemingly stunned admission that Tebow “has had a surprisingly successful” run with the Fireflies and posted a series of video highlights of his play thus far.
If the new Mets outfielder continues to put in these performances, he could be a candidate for a promotion to the Majors. But even if that never happens he has already made the haters look like bitter fools.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.