Tim Tebow’s latest move to make his way back to professional sports is happening on Tuesday. With his NFL career stalled, Tebow has decided to fully pursue baseball, another sport at which he excelled in high school.
The former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback will host his showcase for Major League Baseball teams on August 30 in Los Angeles.
Here’s everything you need to know about the tryout:
1. The Invite Was Sent to 30 MLB Teams
Tebow’s invitation went out to 30 MLB teams, 20 of which are interested in the showcase, according to multiple reports.
ESPN released the name of 13 teams who are expected to be in attendance: Yankees, Marlins, Padres, Indians, Royals, Braves, Phillies, Reds, Rays, Red Sox, Twins, Angels and Dodgers. According to ESPN, this isn’t the first time Tebow will be in front of the Dodgers. He reportedly worked out privately for the team prior to the start of the 2016 season.
2. The Last Time Tebow Played Baseball Was in High School
In high school, Tebow was a two-sport athlete, playing football and baseball. As a junior at Nease High School in 2005, he hit .494 with four home runs and 30 RBIs to help his team reach its classification’s state semifinals.
Tebow mainly played in the outfield, but also spent some time on the mound. He stopped playing baseball his senior year to focus on football full time.
3. The Workout Will Consist of Live Baseball Drills
On Tuesday, the 29-year-old will run the 60-yard dash, take fly balls in the outfield, throw to the bases, take regular batting practice and live BP.
One scout told the New York Daily News that Tebow’s extended absence from baseball could be a problem. He said players who have gone as little as two years without regular hitting have a difficult time fully recovering their abilities.
“It doesn’t seem to be one of those skills that comes back after a long layoff,” the scout told the publication.
A major league scouting director told ESPN: “Eleven years [of not playing baseball], nobody can overcome that.”
However, that hasn’t stopped Tebow from trying. For almost a full year, he has been training in Arizona and Los Angeles to improve his hitting and fielding skills.
4. Gary Sheffield Said Tebow Has the Potential to Succeed in the Majors
Former MLB All-Star Gary Sheffield said he believes Tebow has what it takes to find success in Major League Baseball. Sheffield explained why he was so impressed on MLB Network Radio.
“After I saw the first swing, I said, ‘I can work with that.'”
However, Sheffield admitted he had his doubts at first.
“I said, ‘I don’t know how this is gonna work with all of these muscles,’ you know, because in baseball you don’t need a big chest because it prevents your flexibility.
“When I saw the bat speed that he had, I was shocked,” he said on the radio program. “When he got in his stance, I liked the way his balance was, it was centered, he was standing tall. And when you see his swing, it’s short and quick, and it has power behind it.”
Sheffield also spoke about Tebow’s dedication to making the transition to baseball.
“He’s very serious about it,” Sheffield said on the show. “You have to have a sense of focus that nobody can match, and that I know he has.”
He added that he likes Tebow’s swing better than Michael Jordan’s.
5. Former MLB catcher Chad Moeller Has Been Training Tebow
Chad Moeller has been working with Tebow to help prepare him for a baseball career. While he is confident in Tebow’s ability, he told USA Today that the former NFL player is very realistic about the possible outcomes.
Moeller referenced a statement Sheffield made which suggested Tebow could move up to the majors in one-and-a-half years:
“That’s still two years of minor league baseball,” Moeller told the paper. “That’s buses, or really bad flights, and not making close to what he’s making probably taking much better flights talking to people or doing TV or whatever. It’s a big, big difference. And so he knows those things.
“This is open and out front. Now, do I think a team is going to send him to rookie ball? No. You’re taking a 28-year-old. You know what you’re getting. It’s either going to work or it’s not, and it’s going to have to be fast-tracked.”
Moeller also made it clear to USA Today that Tebow is taking this seriously, and does not want to be a “sideshow.”
“Do I think (teams are) selfishly going to want to sell some seats? Yeah. And he knows it,” Moeller said to the publication. “And that’s why he really hopes (and) wants a team that thinks he can do this, and not just, ‘We’re going to send him to every level and sell a whole bunch of seats and sell a whole bunch of merchandise and we’re just going to have a sideshow.’
“He knows he’s partially a sideshow to start with. But he does want a team that actually thinks this is for real and thinks this is someone that can help us. And he’s going to have to go out and perform and show he can do this. There’s no way to simulate that.”