Tim Tebow might play in Perdue Stadium

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Tim Tebow might play in Perdue Stadium

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A former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback could enter a batter's box at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.



If you haven't heard, Tim Tebow - yes, that Tim Tebow -  has signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets.

You read that sentence right too. Tebow, who hasn't played baseball competitively since 2004, is going to play baseball professionally in the New York Mets' minor league system.

One of the Mets' minor league affiliates happens to be in Columbia, South Carolina. The Fireflies - who used to be the Savannah Sand Gnats - joined the South Atlantic League this past season. And that's the same league that the Delmarva Shorebirds play in.

The Shorebirds have already announced their schedule for the 2017 season and the Fireflies will play in Salisbury May 10-12. And there's a chance Tebow could be in a Columbia uniform then.

Considering that Tebow's road to the majors could be a long one, plus the fact he hasn't played in a baseball game in 12 years, the Mets could start him out in Single-A ball. He'll play in a fall league this year and maybe a winter league too, and participate in the Mets' spring training, but if Tebow needs a little extra time to adjust before being bumped up to Double-A he could be on the Fireflies' bus when they visit Delmarva in May.

The Shorebirds will have new seats in their stadium then too, so Delmarva baseball fans can be comfy as they watch Tebow try to get a hit off of Ofelky Peralta.

Tebow's signing with the Mets comes several days after he tried out in front of 28 MLB teams in California - and the Baltimore Orioles were one of the team's there, even after Adam Jones laughed and Buck Showalter scoffed at Tebow's plans to be a baseball player.
The opinions of scouts at Tebow's tryout ranged from laughable to impressive.

One American League scout told USA Today: “It was a complete waste of time. It was like watching an actor trying to portray a baseball player. He tried. He tried. That’s the best I can say. He is crazy strong, and could run well in one direction, but that’s it. He only had one good throw of all his throws.’’

A National League scout had a different point of view, telling USA Today: "Better than I expected, to be honest. That's a big dude, for as fast as he can run. The power was impressive, but I wish he could have translated it maybe a little better (against live pitching).”

At the tryout, Tebow ran the 60-yard dash at 6.65 seconds - which is about the major league average, and a solid time coming from a man who is 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds. The former Florida Gator fielded balls in the corner outfield and threw balls into the infield before cleanly fielding about 10 fly balls and chasing down a couple of line drives in the gap.

He hit eight home runs during batting practice at the tryout, but against live pitching - 60 pitches from former MLB relievers Chad Smith and David Aardsma - not one left the park.

Tebow is giving baseball a shot after playing in the NFL for a few seasons with the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets. His most memorable moment came in the 2012 playoffs when he led the Broncos to overtime upset win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild card round.

The former quarterback is now on a journey to be the next athlete to play in MLB and the NFL. Whether he'll turn out to be Bo Jackson or Drew Henson remains to be seen, but it's a journey that could start in the South Atlantic League and include a stop on the Delmarva Peninsula.

In May, Shorebirds fans might see the Heisman winner hit a home run, but it's more likely that the Shorebirds select Tebow to be their "Papa John's K-Man of the Game" when the Fireflies visit Salisbury.

source: delmarvanow


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