Tim Tebow baseball update: the former Heisman winner and NFL quarterback continues to have a steady second full year in baseball. Tebow remains with the New York Mets' Double-A affiliate Binghamton Rumble Ponies, after splitting time between A-level clubs last year. Things are going pretty well for him, and for the team as a whole.
Last year, Tebow showed some pop, socking eight home runs between the St. Lucie Mets and Columbia Fireflies. He only hit .226 though, and 126 times in as many games. It was a decent year considering where he was coming from, but not one that screamed future major leaguer by any means.
If we're being honest, at 30 his 2018 season doesn't really chart as super impressive either. However, he is playing at a higher level, and still has clearly taken a step forward.
After a nasty slump to start the season, which had his batting average at a terrible .133 in mid-April, he's worked his way all the way up to .241. Tebow has three home runs, a nine of his 21 hits have gone for extra bases.
He still strikes out a lot, which is not totally out of line with how baseball has gone in recent years. Tebow is very much a feast-or-famine player at the plate.
The Tim Tebow baseball story has a serious impact on the communities that he visits as well.
Binghamton, a city of around 47,000 on New York's Southern Tier, almost lost its team a few years ago. With Tebow in town, it has been a banner year for the Rumble Ponies.
The New York Timesvisited Binghamton for a piece on the "Tebow effect." It is very real, especially for the local economies for the towns he passes through.
Other towns have experienced the Tebow effect. When Tebow was a backup quarterback for the Jets in 2012, crowds of fans flocked to training camp in Cortland, N.Y., about 40 miles north of Binghamton. The visitors’ bureau projected that about $1 million of additional revenue would be injected into the town’s economy.
In Tebow’s first stint in minor league baseball, with the Class A Columbia Fireflies in South Carolina, attendance grew by about 750 fans per home game — or $600,000 in revenue for the club, Baseball America estimated. His next stop was Port St. Lucie, Fla., where the Class A Mets soon experienced record attendance.
It is very easy to mock the grand Tim Tebow baseball experiment, and I certainly get that impulse. However, whether or not he ever makes the major leagues, the people in Binghamton, Columbia, and Port St. Lucie have been thrilled to have him.