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New York Mets minor leaguer Tim Tebow retires from baseball

Tim Tebow speaks during a panel discussion with federal government officials and stakeholders about combating human trafficking, in Atlanta, Ga., on September 21, 2020. File Photo by Tami Chappell/UPI
Tim Tebow speaks during a panel discussion with federal government officials and stakeholders about combating human trafficking, in Atlanta, Ga., on September 21, 2020. File Photo by Tami Chappell/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 18 (UPI) -- New York Mets prospect and former football star Tim Tebow has retired from baseball.

Announcing his exit on Wednesday, the former Heisman Trophy-winning college football quarterback joined the Mets' Minor League Baseball system in 2016, but was never called up to the major league level.

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"I loved every minute of the journey, but at this time I feel called in other directions," Tebow said in a statement. "I never want to be partially in on anything.

"I always want to be 100% 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."

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Tebow, 33, in 2017 played in the Arizona Fall League. The outfielder and designated hitter later appeared in games at the Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A level. He spent his final season in 2019 with the Triple-A Syracuse Mets. He did not play in 2020 because Major League Baseball canceled minor league seasons amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tebow -- an Eastern League All-Star in 2018 -- hit .223 with 18 home runs and 107 RBIs in three minor league seasons.

"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," team President Sandy Alderson said in a statement.

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"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."

Before beginning his professional baseball career, Tebow spent years a football quarterback who won two national championships at the University of Florida and spent three seasons in the NFL.

Tebow was selected by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft and spent two seasons there before moving to the New York Jets for his final season in 2012.

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Tebow completed 47.9% of his passes for 2,422 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 35 NFL appearances. He also had 989 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns during his NFL tenure.

Tebow also had short tenures with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, but did not make those teams' regular-season rosters. He went on to become an analyst at ESPN, a job he kept during his tenure in the Mets' system.

Tebow, an avid philanthropist, married former Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in June.

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