There’s a minor-league baseball stadium down in Greenville, S.C. that is nearly sold out tonight.
The reason? The most notorious man in the minors is coming to town: Tim Tebow.
And believe it or not, Tebow isn’t far from winning his first title in baseball.
When his Columbia Fireflies face the Greenville Drive – the Class A affiliates of the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox, respectively – in the final game of a three-game series Thursday night, they have a chance to place themselves in the drivers' seat toward capturing a division title.
The Fireflies are half-game behind the Drive in the South Atlantic League Southern Division, and looking to unseat the Drive at the top of the table before entering the final weekend before the All-Star Break. If the Fireflies can manage that, they would control their own fate as they attempt to win the first-half title and solidify their place in the postseason.
Unfortunately for Tebow, that would likely be the highlight of his minor-league career so far.
After hitting two home runs in his first three games, Tebow has managed to homer only once since. Through 56 games and 156 at-bats, Tebow has posted a .226 batting average, 20 RBI and 26 runs. Perhaps the most damning statistic, though, is his 61 strikeouts – the 13th highest total in the South Atlantic League.
As is always the case with the quarterback-turned-outfielder, his lack of success hasn’t gone unnoticed, especially by the Drive. With just roughly 100 miles on I-385 separating Greeneville from Columbia, the two teams have always been rivals. And lately, “Tebowmania” has been the easiest target for the Drive to take aim at on Twitter.
Twitter feuds aside, Tebow’s career in the majors looks a long way away right now. But when the Mets began this experiment last year, their top baseball executives noted the two-time national title winner and Heisman Trophy honoree had won on big stages at the University of Florida. Perhaps, he could become a leader for men much younger than him trying to achieve his same goals.
And while this may only be Class A baseball, Tebow can take a step toward proving that Thursday night.