Before Tim Tebow takes a back field somewhere with assorted New York Mets prospects for instructional league play this fall, let’s take a look at the former University of Florida and NFL quarterback’s last official baseball game.
In the spring of 2005, Tebow was a junior left fielder for a Nease High School team that became just the second St. John’s County high school program to advance to the Florida state semifinals. After finishing the 2004 season at 10-17, the Golden Panthers and first-year head coach Greg Mullins, who pitched briefly in 1998 for the Milwaukee Brewers, entered their Class 4A Final Four matchup against Winter Haven at Sarasota’s Ed Smith Stadium with a record of 24-6.
“A big part is having a great coach,” Tebow told Sarasota Herald-Tribune sports reporter Jon Styf. “Coach Mullins and coach (Joey) Russell have helped me a ton. They’ve got me keeping my waist back and not swinging early on curveballs.”
Batting cleanup for Nease in the May 27th contest against Winter Haven, Tebow went 2-for-3 with singles in the first and fourth innings. He also recorded three putouts.
However, the Blue Devils emerged with a 2-1 victory over the Golden Panthers despite garnering just two hits to Nease’s six. Tebow would enroll at the University of Florida in January 2006, which prevented him from playing baseball as a senior and possibly being selected in the 2006 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
In his final high school baseball season, Tebow batted .493 with four home runs, 26 runs scored and 30 RBI.