By Woody Paige
It’s Tebow Time.
On his first pitch of his first at-bat in his first Instructional League game Wednesday, Tim Tebow homered.
Move over, Mr. Met.
If you thought Marvelous Marv Throneberry was something special in the early days of the Mets, imagine Terrific Timmy Tebow.
Will Tim bring back another reason for kneeling in sports?
For those who forget, two other rather well-known NFL quarterbacks played professional baseball. When he was 22 and still at Stanford, John Elway spent a summer with the Oneonta (Pa.) A-League team, in the New York Yankees farm system. He had four home runs and 25 RBIs and hit .318 in 42 games. When the Baltimore Colts drafted him No. 1 overall, Elway threatened to continue playing baseball. The Colts traded him to the Denver Broncos.
Of course, Tebow was a No. 1 pick of the Broncos, and ended up playing 23 games for the team, starting 14. He recorded an 8-6 record as a started and was the quarterback who threw the winning pass in overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers in January of 2011.
Elway traded Tebow to the New York Jets the day after Peyton Manning signed as a free agent with the Broncos in 2012.
Could Tebow wind up in New York again? He started two games with the Jets – as a tight end. But Tebow never started a game as a quarterback with New York.
The game Wednesday was not quite the majors. It was in Port St. Lucie against the Cardinals’ instructional league team.
It is well to remember Russell Wilson also had a Denver connection.
The then-North Carolina State quarterback was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 2010 draft (the same year Tebow was drafted by the Broncos) in the fourth round and played for the Tri-City Dust Devils, hitting .230 with a couple of homers. The next year, after graduating from N.C. State, Wilson went to Wisconsin (allowable as a graduate student under NCAA rules) and had an outstanding season.
His second season with the Rockies, 2011, was not so special. He hit .228 with the Asheville Tourists.
Wilson was drafted in 2012 by the Seattle Seahawks, and, get this, started at quarterback as a rookie and overwhelmed the Denver Broncos, and Manning, in the Super Bowl.
In New York/New Jersey where the Jets played.
Tebow, Wilson and Elway forever will be intertwined.
And Tim hit a home run on Wednesday.
Maybe he will make it in baseball. At least to A ball next season.
Don’t forget that Tebow was once compared to Bobby Douglass, a strong-armed quarterback who was at one-time the Chicago Bears’ starter. But Douglass and Tebow not only shared the trait of being left-handed, but they were not very accurate.
Tim completed 47.3 percent of his passes with the Broncos. Douglass completed only 42 percent in his six years with the Bears, before bouncing around and being out of football in 1978.
Bill Veeck, the famous general manager-promoter, hired Douglass in 1979 and sent him to Iowa as a relief pitcher. Douglass was trying to make the switch at 30, a year older than Tebow is now.
Douglass failed in his brief trial.
But there no Douglassmania.
And I’m sure Tim said on Wednesday after the home run: “”God bless.’’
In his second trip to the plate, Tebow grounded into a double play.
But his batting average of .500 was better than his passing percentage.