Heisman Trophy winner and NFL QB-turned-professional baseball player Tim Tebow continues do what he does best: fill stands, delight fans, and do remarkable things on the field. The latest story out of Tebow's new minor league baseball career involves an emotional embrace with an autistic boy followed by a three-run homer.
The latest Tebow miracle, reported by The Tampa Bay Times Wednesday, occurred back on July 29 at Charlotte Sports Park, where Tebow's St. Lucie Mets were playing the Charlotte Stone Crabs. The Times sets the scene:
Tebow, 29, was taking practice swings in the on-deck circle, waiting to hit in the top of the seventh inning. Seth, who was 9 at the time (he turned 10 on Aug. 6), was at the game with his parents and his younger sister.
And he wanted to meet Tebow.
Seth, who has high-functioning autism, also suffers from neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that produces tumors on the nerve tissue. He has a tumor behind his right eye. He has a hard time playing sports.
The boy, wearing a Tebow shirt, made his way over to the backstop netting, close to the Mets' on-deck circle. When the Stone Crabs paused play to hold a conference at the pitching mound, Seth waved for Tebow to come over to him.
Tebow, known for being very accommodating to fans, came over to the boy and the two "shook hands through the netting."
By the time the boy reached his mom, he was emotional. "When Seth came back to his seat, he was crying,” his mom told the Times.
When play resumed, Tebow went to the plate — and crushed a three-run homer.
"I started crying too," said the boy's mom. “How does that happen? I think God brought Seth and Tim together.”
So far, Tebow's baseball career is going pretty well. While he's certainly not leading the league in batting average, he has shown notable improvement since being promoted to the Mets' high-A team. But more importantly, he continues to "pack them in," as Baseball America's Josh Norris puts it.
"Crowds follow Tebow wherever he goes, and the two teams he's played for this season—St. Lucie and low Class A Columbia—have each set franchise attendance records," Norris reports. "Visiting teams, too, feel the bump. The Florida Fire Frogs played four games with St. Lucie since Tebow was promoted and the crowds they drew represent 36 percent of that team's season attendance."
Will we eventually see Tebow playing for the real Mets? Shoot, he's pulled off bigger miracles than that plenty of times. Meanwhile, Tebow's minor league career is already far more closely covered than just about any individual major leaguer.