In the bottom of the fifth inning facing two outs with a runner on first and second base number 15 steps up to the plate and delivers a three-run shot over right field.
Coming up in the clutch was none other than journey man Tim Tebow. The homerun on April 9, marked Tebow’s second of the season after clocking one out the park on his very first at-bat in the opener on April 6. The former NCAA football Heisman winner and NFL sensation known for his clutch play in 2011 that led the Denver Broncos to the playoffs is now playing baseball, a game he played in high school, for the New York Mets minor league Class A Columbia Fireflies.
Last fall Tebow auditioned in front of many representatives of MLB teams and his performance caught the eye of the New York Mets. After playing in their instructional baseball league Tebow was invited to the Mets spring training in March.
“It’s a dream come true to play with the Mets organization [with] a bunch of awesome guys, getting a chance to play a game I love,” Tebow said on Good Morning America on February 28 before heading to spring training.
Prior to playing in the instructional baseball league for a few games last fall, Tebow hasn’t played competitive baseball since his high school days in Florida. Getting back in the swing of things the most challenging part is studying each different pitch and trying to make contact, Tebow said. Although it’s a challenge Tebow wouldn’t want to have it any other way.
“This is something that I’m doing for the love of it,” Tebow said on GMA, “the love of the game, the love of pursing passions, the love of being able to live a dream every single day.”
After spring training and getting picked up by the Fireflies Tebow left a good impression on his first at-bat. A moment he says every high pressure moment in football prepared him for and he literally knocked it out the park with a homer on his first at-bat with the club.
“All of my pro experiences have helped me for that,” Tebow said during the postgame press conference. “So much of sports is handling pressure and handling moments.
“It feels good to help the team. You get back in the dugout and everybody is pumped up. You are ready to go.”
Tonight the Fireflies will take on the Augusta GreenJackets.
By Gino Terrell