Tim Tebow is making headlines as a minor league baseball player as he continues to hit well for the New York Met’s A affiliate, the Columbia Fireflies. As of last week he was 40 for 178 with 18 RBIs.
As we all know Tim Tebow did not start off with Major League Baseball dreams. In 2011, the Heisman Trophy winner led the Denver Broncos to their first AFC West title since 2005. However, even after a successful season he was traded to the NY Jets (and then released), signed with the New England Patriots (and cut) and he stepped away for a few seasons to only try again with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015. Never getting back to his “Tebow Time” ways of 2011, Tebow switched gears and surprised many when he signed with the New York Mets on a minor league contract in 2016.
Tim Tebow is not the only athlete to switch professional leagues, and no we aren’t talking about that time Michael Jordan tried playing for the Chicago White Sox. We are talking about athletes who successfully transferred to a new league or crazily enough, played in two professional leagues at the same time!
Brian Jordan, from 1989 to 1991, Jordan played in the NFL and earned a spot on the roster for the Pro-Bowl as an Atlanta Falcon. After that? In 1992 he moved over to the MLB where he played 15 seasons. In 1999 he was voted into the MLB All-Star game as an Atlanta Brave.
Bo Jackson, like Tebow, he won the Heisman Trophy. Jackson was originally drafted to the NFL only to play professional baseball (first) instead. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers who initially drafted Jackson would go on to trade him to the Los Angeles Raiders in 1987. In 1987, Jackson had 396 at bats with 22 home runs, 53 RBIs and an on base percentage of .296 with the Kansas City Royals and he played in 7 games for the Los Angeles Raiders, rushing for 554 yards with 6 touch downs. He would continue to play for the Raiders for three more seasons before leaving the NFL and stayed in the MLB until 1994.
Deion Sanders, he once played a professional baseball game (where he hit a home run) and a professional football game (where he scored a touchdown) all in the same weekend! He would later attempt to play in both leagues on the same day, after playing with the Falcons in Miami Sanders went to Pittsburgh for Game 5 of the NLCS however, after he arrived he sat on the bench. He is also the only person to have rings from both the World Series and the Super Bowl.
Gene Conley, was a pitcher in the MLB for 11 seasons and concurrently played in the NBA for six. He is the only person to have a World Series ring and a NBA Championship ring.
While the number of athletes who have successfully played in multiple professional leagues may be few it does not mean that Tim Tebow cannot succeed as an outfielder after an attempt at a career as a quarterback. Only time will tell if Tebow will get to put on the orange and blue jersey in Queens but if and when he does, he could become part of an elite group of athletes in sports history.
Written by Kristen
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