It had been 42 days since Tim Tebow hit a home run. Some might call it a slump, some might call it exactly what might be expected of an NFL quarterback-turned aspiring baseball player.
But on Sunday evening, the lull ended when Tebow knocked a home run to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning of the Columbia Fireflies’ matchup with the West Virginia Power.
— Lou Bezjak (@LouatTheState) May 21, 2017
Tebow had been hitless in five of his last six games, going just 1 for his last 18 at-bats and striking out 6 times in the process. But a Tebow home run is one of those proverbial shots that can be heard ’round the world, no matter if it is between two minor league teams the majority of baseball fans have never heard of.
The fact remains that people generally seem to care when Tebow hits home runs, and even when he doesn’t. Darren Rovell, a business reporter for ESPN, reported that Columbia’s attendance is up 30 percent this season, and that away games are seeing a 100 percent increase in attendance as compared to games that do not feature the former Heisman Trophy winner.
“He’s a celebrity and he’s a brand,” Lakewood (N.J.) BlueClaws director of ticket sales Jim McNamara told Rovell. “People from all walks of life know who he is. He markets himself to sports fans, families and has a religious following. Plus, the casual fan into pop culture is interested in him.”
Indeed. Tebow’s latest viral moment was when he appeared on The Tonight Show and shared a dance with a special needs fan. It hit the Internet and predictably exploded.
👏👏👏 Tim Tebow pic.twitter.com/J4fP6VFaHB
— SI Extra Mustard (@SI_ExtraMustard) May 18, 2017
Tebow’s solo shot Sunday gave Columbia its first run of the game, though it still ended up losing, 6-3. Fans in attendance may not remember the score, but they’ll certainly remember that Tebow went yard.