During a recent event, New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson admitted that were reasons to sign Tim Tebow that had nothing to do with his prospect status.
Since making his regular season debut with the Columbia Fireflies (Low A; Sally League) in April, Tebow has drawn major crowds wherever he has played. The attendance trends that were seen in the South Atlantic League could extend to the Florida State League, where Tebow is now a member of the St. Lucie Mets following a recent promotion.
Tebow’s promotion to St. Lucie came despite some unimpressive statistics in Columbia, including a .220 average with three home runs in 64 games. There was not much expectation of Tebow–the former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback–breaking into baseball as a bona fide major league prospect, especially given that he had not played the sport on a full-time basis since high school, but his presence has generated increased fan support as expected.
In recent remarks, Alderson cited Tebow’s character as a reason he appealed to the Mets. Per Newsday, he also stated “Look, we signed him because he is a good guy, partly because of his celebrity, partly because this is an entertainment business. My attitude is ‘why not?’ ” He also shared a story about Tebow’s bio in the Mets’ media guide. More from Newsday:
Each player bio includes the name of the scout who signed that player, and that presented a problem for the authors. So they asked general manager Sandy Alderson if they should list him as the signing scout.
“Ultimately,’’ he added, “the guy that we put down was the director of merchandising.
Alderson shared what he called “an inside joke” while participating in a panel at Citi Field for the 47th annual SABR convention Friday. The 500-plus attendees roared with laughter.
Tebow’s character has been praised thus far, and the Fireflies have noted his positive impact on the team and the community. Though it accounts for a small sample size, Tebow’s early returns with St. Lucie have been solid, as he is 6-for-14 (.429) at the plate with a home run through his first six games with the High-A club.
RELATED STORIES: Tim Tebow: Next Up, St. Lucie and the Florida State League