COLUMBIA, S.C. – Whether it was wind, brute strength, an assist from a higher power or a combination of the three, Tim Tebow began his minor league baseball career with a 2-run, opposite field homer.
Apparently, the 29-year-old former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner also has a flair for the dramatic in the South Atlantic League.
In his first at-bat, Tebow knocked a 2-1 pitch from Domenic Mazza that barely cleared the wall in left-centerfield at Spirit Communications Park, to give the Columbia Fireflies a 2-0 second inning lead.
“You’ve heard before, special things happen to special people,” Fireflies manager Jose Leger said. “And I think that was a special moment right there, his first at-bat, putting the team on the board right there and I thought he set the tone, no doubt about it.”
The 372-foot homer was Tebow’s only hit of the night as he finished 1 for 5 with a homer, 2 RBI and 3 strikeouts in the Fireflies appropriate 14-7 win over Augusta.
Because the ball ricocheted off the railing above the outfield wall and back into play, Tebow first thought he had an RBI double.
“I felt like I hit it really well. I felt like I made good contact,” Tebow said, “And I was just trying to remember to run the base path the right way and get my correct angles. I saw it getting thrown in, so I held up at second (base) and just glad to drive in a run.
“The (umpire) said, ‘Keep going.'”
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For Tebow, who started in left field and hit seventh, it’s back to the drawing board. The Fireflies play the GreenJackets again on Friday night at 7:05 and there are 142 more games after that.
“I know so many people want to sensationalize it, but for me, it’s just one day,” he said. “It’s one opportunity, the first of a lot of games and tomorrow will be another opportunity to wake up, get work and try to get better.
“And, for me, it’s about the process. I know it sounds cliché and I’ve said it 100 times, but it is about the process. Still have a long way to go in that process.”