As 2017 comes to an end, let’s reflect on another great year of MLB action.
It was another banner year for Major League Baseball in 2017. Revenues are up. Player salaries are up. Television ratings are up. The World Series was another seven-game classic, and the New York Yankees are firmly back in the spotlight. Nearly everything that could have gone right for MLB in 2017 went right.
The game is as healthy as it’s ever been entering 2018 with dozens of exciting young superstars generating real crossover appeal for the league for the first time since Ken Griffey Jr, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez were media sensations (not just baseball stars) in the late 1990s. Baseball gets cast as the stodgy old uncle among the rest of the professional sports leagues, but that narrative is losing steam quickly.
Two-thousand-eighteen is right around the corner, but there’s still time to reflect on and remember all the great things that happened for Major League Baseball in 2017 (along with a few sadder/uglier stories that cannot be overlooked). These are the top-25 stories that dominated MLB storylines this year.
25. Tebow rides the bus
Love him or hate him, label his foray into professional baseball a publicity stunt or accept it as a genuine attempt, Tim Tebow moved the needle for baseball, especially minor-league baseball in 2017. At 30, and coming off a year spent hitting .226/.309/.347 at two levels of Single-A, Tebow is far from a prospect. He’s never going to play in the major leagues, but Tebow is still taking it seriously. He plans to play at least one more year in the New York Mets farm system.
Most serious baseball types don’t take Tebow seriously, but there’s absolutely no harm in allowing him to play. Is he taking a spot from a younger, possibly more deserving player? Perhaps, but Tebow isn’t blocking another legitimate prospect. He’s still an elite athlete, and he did not embarrass himself after taking a decade off from high-level baseball. Tebow acquitted himself better than Michael Jordan in his lone season as a baseball player. If the Mets have their way, Tebow will be able to hack his way up to Double-A by the middle of next season so that the organization, which owns the team, can begin taking advantage of his marketability.