Though Tim Tebow has had a couple signature moments this season, including homering in his first professional at-bat, he’s still well behind the curve in nearly every facet of baseball.
Perhaps not surprisingly to those who watched him play football, one area Tebow appears to be struggling the most is with accuracy on his throws. One fan in Lakewood, N.J. found that out in one of the most uncomfortable ways possible on Tuesday night.
Prior to the Columbia Fireflies game against the Phillies’ Single-A squad, the Blue Claws, Tebow overthrew one of his teammates in embarrassing fashion. The ball soared into the stands, where fan Doug Brustman says it squeezed through a railing and drilled him squarely in the groin.
“I hear this guy behind me yell, ‘Watch out,’” said Brustman. “And as he’s yelling, the ball comes right through the railing and hits me right in the nuts. It was a direct hit.”
As the 45-year-old, Manchester, NJ resident was doubled over in pain, he was able to squeak out one question: Who threw that?
“It was literally like a Seinfeld episode. The guy behind me shouts, ‘It was TEBOW,’” said Brustman. “It reminded me of his days with the Jets when he couldn’t complete a pass. This guy is so inaccurate, even with a baseball.”
To Tebow’s credit, he would make amends with the fan. After completing his warm ups, he went over to meet Brustman and his daughter, Morgan, who the report adds dreams of playing basketball at Tebow’s alma mater — the University of Florida. Tebow even signed the baseball, making the painful experience a little more worthwhile.
This is just the latest in a string of interesting and unusual Tebow stories since beginning his baseball career last fall.
While it remains unlikely that we’ll ever since him reach the major league level, he’s obviously done a lot to create interest in the minor leagues and specifically the South Atlantic League (SAL). Whether people are there to see him succeed or accidentally throw the ball into the stands, they’re coming in droves which is driving the league’s revenue way up.
But they’re not the only team benefiting. On the road, Tebow’s impact has been even greater. The report says attendance at Fireflies road games are up anywhere from 80 to 120 percent, depending on the stadium.
When zeroing in on the financial impact, Whitten cites a Baseball America report that figures Tebow has been responsible for $44,200 in additional sales per night at road stadiums. When those numbers were extrapolated over the entire minor league season, it’s estimated the other teams in the SAL would be positioned to earn an additional $3.1 million in collective revenue.
Those are incredible numbers that even baseball’s most hyped prospects would be unlikely to approach, and they’re probably the biggest reason why the Mets will be willing to overlook his shortcomings when determining his baseball future.
Based on Tebow’s need for further and significant development, a promotion wouldn’t typically be warranted for a player at his level. At least one report has already suggested one could come anyway this summer. If it does, it will undoubtedly be fueled more by business and spreading the buzz throughout the Mets organization than baseball.
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