Hal McCoy
Hal McCoy

Hal McCoy is a former beat writer for the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio), covering the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. He was honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002 as the winner of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, which is awarded annually "for meritorious contributions to baseball writing." He has won 52 Ohio and national writing awards and was the first non-Cincinnati newsperson elected to the Cincinnati Journalists Hall of Fame. He also was inducted into the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame and the Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame. He has a stone on Dayton's Walk of Fame and the press box at Dayton's Howell Field is named the Hal McCoy Press Box. McCoy has been the Cincinnati BBWAA Chapter Chair 22 times and was the BBWAA national president in 1997. He is the third writer from the Dayton Daily News to win the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, joining Si Burick (1982) and Ritter Collett (1991). Residing in Englewood, Ohio, McCoy is an honors graduate in journalism from Kent State University.

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He’s won the Heisman, but he’s failed in every other professional sports endeavor he’s tried.  What makes anyone think now that Tim Tebow can be successful in baseball?

Dayton – What other 29-year-old man who hasn’t played baseball in 11 years could schedule a tryout-workout and have 25 major league teams and 30 media members show up?

Only quarterback/evangelist/pseudo-baseball player Tim Tebow, a human lightning rod for publicity and attention.

There is no doubt that Tebow is serious in his thinking that he can play professional baseball. He is the kind of guy who believes he can do anything.

Baseball, though, isn’t one of them — not on the professional level. Tebow should check in with Michael Jordan about that.

During his workout at Dedeaux Field at the University of Southern California this week, he displayed that he knows what he is doing. His swing was fundamentally sound and scouts were impressed with his speed in the 40-yard dash. They said he threw like a quarterback and, well, duh.

He hit a few balls over the fence during a batting practice session when he was tossed meatballs without any sauce. No surprise there for a 255-pound sculpted athlete. But I’ve seen pitchers who are batting .075 pepper the seats in batting practice.

When Tebow faced live pitching, a couple of former major leaguers who added some wrinkles to the heat they threw, it wasn’t pretty.

And yet Tebow’s agent said four or five clubs have expressed interest in signing him. It appears Adidas has faith. The apparel company signed him before his workout and he was outfitted cap-to-spikes in Adidas gear during his audition.

If somebody signs him, whether for publicity or to see if he can make it, his next step probably would be to play in the Arizona Instructional League, which begins later this month.

But should he do that?

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If Tebow is really interested in seeing if he can make it he should accept an offer from a Venezuelan Winter League team, a league that is highly competitive and usually includes major league pitchers and players.

Aguilas del Zulia, five-time Venezuelan champions, sent a contract to Tebow’s agent before the tryout.

About Tebow, Aguilas general manager Luis Amaro said, “He’s an athlete. He’s won the Heisman. He’s won two national championships. I know baseball is a hard game, but he’ll either and adjust and show he’s ready to play pro ball or not. I think it is low risk, high reward for Zulia.”

High reward? He is obviously talking about ticket sales, not baseball results.

Yes, Tebow is an athlete — a football athlete. Michael Jordan was an athlete, too, probably the best all-around player in the history of the NBA. But when he tried baseball he started at Class AA Birmingham for the Chicago White Sox and was an abject failure.

Hal_UDbaseballinset Yes, Tebow won the Heisman and, yes, he won two national championships at the University of Florida. That, though, was football where he didn’t face sliders, change-ups and split-fingered fastballs. The ball won’t be handed to him from between the legs of a center or lobbed to him from the shotgun formation. The ball will be coming at him at 95 miles an hour and it won’t be straight.

Give him credit, though. He obviously isn’t afraid of failure. He failed in the NFL, despite a nice short-term run with the Denver Broncos. His personality, though, doesn’t think about failure. Baseball is a hard, hard game. Success in high school 11 years ago isn’t a strong resume for a path to success on the professional level.

Let’s call it what it is — Tebow’s method of keeping his name in the public’s eye even if it surely will lead to ridicule and the same as Michael Jordon. Abject failure.

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