Rob Foldy/Getty
Steve Helling
June 29, 2017 02:02 PM

Tim Tebow sure knows how to make a splash.

After being promoted to the high-A division of the minor leagues, the 29-year-old scored a two-run homer on his first day with the St. Lucie Mets. During a doubleheader, Tebow had three hits, two runs batted in, and a walk. He also caught two fly balls while playing left field.

It was a solid debut for the former NFL star, who has faced his share of critics since deciding to play professional baseball.

“It felt good,” he told reporters after the game. “Honestly, I felt good the last couple of weeks in [former team] Columbia, and I tried to carry it over. Just put the bat on the ball and hit it hard.” 

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It’s not the first time that he has made a big entrance. On his very first at-bat in the minor leagues last September, he hit a home run. 

During an interview with PEOPLE at his home last November, Tebow made it crystal clear that baseball was not a passing fancy.

“It has been a lifelong dream,” he said. “I have always wanted to play the sport. I know people think of me as a football player and think that baseball was just a plan B, but it isn’t. It was a passion of mine, and I’m very blessed that I’m able to follow that dream. Not everyone gets to do that.”

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