Tim Tebow made his Mets’ Arizona Fall League debut Tuesday afternoon, going 0-for-3 with three groundouts while playing left field for the Scottsdale Scorpions, who defeated the Glendale Desert Dogs 9-6.
Tebow, 29, batted seventh for the Scorpions, a team that features prospects from the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, New York Yankees, and the Mets. Tebow played five innings in left, before being replaced in the bottom half of the sixth inning for Aaron Brown, an outfielder in the Phillies organization.
The six-foot-three, former quarterback also had an adventurous day playing the field, as he crashed into the left field wall in the bottom of the fifth, attempting to snare a double off the bat of Los Angeles Dodgers prospect, Cody Bellinger. The ball sailed just past the outstretched glove of Tebow, who didn’t realize how close he was to the outfield wall, and face planted once he lost sight of it. To his credit, he reacted quickly, tossing the ball back into the infield, holding Bellinger at second.
“Where my face went into the wall?” Tebow said with a laugh when asked about his ill-fated catch attempt. “I knew it was hit well, so I just tried to make a play on it. I was going pretty hard and thought I had another step or two and ran into the wall. But I’ve been hit harder, so I’m OK.” (ESPN.com)
On the day, Tebow saw 14 pitches, working an eight pitch at-bat in the second inning before grounding out to second, advancing teammate Taylor Ward to third, who later scored on a sac-fly off the bat of Mets’ prospect, Matt Oberste.
“Obviously I wish I could have done a little bit more at the plate and got a couple of hits,” Tebow said after his AFL debut. “But it was fun. You’ve got to knock a little rust off. … Each day is not just about the result. It’s about: What are you learning? How are you improving? How are you going to be able to take that over into spring training?” (ESPN.com)
After the game, Tebow was signing autographs for fans down the third base line, when a man suffered a seizure and laid on the ground in the stands. Tebow reached over and placed his hand on the man, comforting him and saying a prayer while he waited 15 minutes for the paramedics to arrive.
According to ABC-15’s digital video reporter Kari Van Horn, who was at the ballpark during the time this incident took place, she saw the fan drop to the ground not breathing, and as soon as Tebow reached over and put his hand on the fan and said a prayer, the man started breathing again. Whatever happened, Tebow once again comes off as a class act and a humanitarian.
The Scorpions play Wednesday and Thursday, with Tebow expected to play both games before departing for his college football broadcasting duties for ESPN over the weekend.