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The Mets announced on Wednesday that Tim Tebow, the former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback, has decided to retire from professional baseball. Tebow, 33, signed with the Mets in September of 2016 despite not having played organized baseball since high school. Across parts of three minor-league seasons, Tebow batted .223/.299/.338 with 18 home runs, 48 doubles, and five stolen bases in 287 games.

“It has been a pleasure to have Tim in our organization as he’s been a consummate professional during his four years with the Mets,” Mets president Sandy Alderson said in a statement released by the team. “By reaching the Triple-A level in 2019, he far exceeded expectations when he first entered the system in 2016 and he should be very proud of his accomplishments.”

Tebow began his professional baseball journey in the Arizona Fall League and, as noted, made his way to the highest minor-league rung in 2019. Tebow did not play in 2020, as the minor-league season was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This spring, Tebow had again been invited to major-league camp with the Mets. 

“I want to thank the Mets, Mr. Alderson, the fans and all my teammates for the chance to be a part of such a great organization,” Tebow said in that same statement. “I loved every minute of the journey, but at this time I feel called in other directions. I never want to be partially in on anything. I always want to be 100 percent in on whatever I choose. Thank you again for everyone’s support of this awesome journey in baseball, I’ll always cherish my time as a Met. #LGM”

Prior to signing with the Mets, Tebow earned fame as a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback for the University of Florida. In the NFL, he made 16 starts in three seasons and helped the 2011 Denver Broncos to the playoffs. Since 2014, Tebow has worked as a college football analyst for the SEC Network and occasionally ESPN.