LAKEWOOD, N.J. — While it was Mother’s Day around the world and Derek Jeter Day in The Bronx, it was Tim Tebow Day at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, N.J., on Sunday.
Countless fans in the crowd of 6,468 showed up wearing his Jets No. 15 jersey or his Broncos No. 15 jersey, and there were even a few wearing his No. 15 jersey with the Florida Gators.
“I think it’s cool that he can play two professional sports,” said Jack Waddleton of Point Pleasant, N.J., who wore a replica of Tebow’s white No. 15 Gators jersey to the ball park. “I liked him as a quarterback and wanted to see him again. I hope he does well in baseball.”
Tebow, the former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback, has been a huge draw in the minor leagues. But the Mets, who signed him to a minor league contract this year, should be more interested in what he does on the field.
He entered Sunday’s game with a .250 batting average with two home runs in 100 at-bats in 28 games. He had struck out 29 times and had an on-base percentage of .330 and a .370 slugging percentage. Sunday he was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts as his visiting Columbia Fireflies beat the Phillies Single-A affiliate Lakewood BlueClaws, 5-3. Tebow looked like a man among boys as he took his position in left field, and for good reason. At age 29, he’s the oldest player on the Columbia team by four years, and he’s 11 years older than the starting short stop, Andres Gimenez, an 18-year-old from Venezuela.
While Tebow admits many of his teammates are “too young” to know of his college football career, he’s enjoying the camaraderie.
“It’s been a learning experience for me and hopefully for them,” Tebow said. “Although I haven’t played that much baseball, I have had a lot of life experience and sports experience that I can share with them. There’s the highs and lows and handling a home run versus a strikeout and everything in between. To be able to pass that along and encourage some of these kids that when they go 0-for-3 and they’re 20 years old, it’s not the worst thing in the world and life’s not over.”
The Post has reported Tebow could be promoted to Double-A because of his drawing power — and because he batted .327 with four doubles in his past 16 games entering Sunday. The Mets would be wise not to rush things. Tebow knows he’s a work in progress, having not played organized baseball since high school. “I feel like I’m improving every day,” he said. “The more reps you get, the more pitches you see, the more you get to work in the cage, all of that I think helps the progress. It’s not just coming out here and focusing on results. That’s nice when you get them. But it’s focusing on having quality at-bats, having plate discipline and having the right rhythm and timing that we’ve […]