— Columbia Fireflies (@ColaFireflies) March 20, 2017
The Tebow Show will begin 2017 in South Carolina.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told media on Monday afternoon that Tebow, the Heisman winner and former NFL quarterback who is attempting to reach the major leagues after not playing competitive baseball since high school, would begin his first full season as a pro with the team’s low Class A affiliate in the South Atlantic League.
“Sending him to a full-season club is what we hoped to be able to do,” Alderson told Newsday’s Marc Carig on Monday. “And based on what he’s done in spring training, and his whole body of work since last fall, we feel comfortable with him going to Columbia.”
After a tryout in late August, Tebow signed with the Mets and started shaking off a decade’s worth of rust at the team’s instructional league in Port St. Lucie, Fla. He then went to the Arizona Fall League for six weeks—with time off on the weekends to accommodate his football analyst duties with the Southeastern Conference Network—and hit .194/242/.296 with 20 strikeouts in 62 at-bats. He’s gone 4-for-17 this season in games in big league camp.
“Tim Tebow will bring major excitement and national attention to the Fireflies and city of Columbia,” Fireflies president John Katz said in a team release. “Baseball fans, sports fans and Tim Tebow fans will likely come from around the southeast to see him play. We expect this to add to the energy at Spirit Communications Park and around downtown Columbia, especially during our opening weekend (April 6-9).”
Just getting Tebow to start the season is sure to be a major boon for Columbia financially, but you can bet the Fireflies are hoping the 29-year-old outfielder sticks with them long enough to play a role in the SAL all-star game, which Columbia will host on June 20.
The Fireflies announced Tebow’s imminent arrival with a video, which you can see above.