A new Cyclones season is coming, but Tebowmania isn’t

Staying in Columbia: Tim Tebow will not be joining the Mets farm club in Brooklyn this summer, staying instead with its minor league team in Columbia, S.C.
Associated Press / John Bazemore

Tim Tebow in a Brooklyn Cyclones uniform, smacking home runs over the right field wall and patrolling the outfield at MCU Park? Fugheddaboudit!

Fans who were hoping to see the sometimes popular, sometimes polarizing former college football star turned professional baseball player join Brooklyn’s beloved Class A, short-season New York–Penn League team this summer should prepare to be disappointed: The Mets organization has announced that Tebow will remain with the Columbia Fireflies in the Class A South Atlantic League for the remainder of their season.

“It would be more of a demotion rather than a promotion for him to come here,” said Cyclones’ spokesman Billy Harner. “With his age and the skill level that he showed playing in the extended spring training, playing in the Arizona fall league and the Instructional league, I think [the Mets’] hope was to always start him with a full-season club.”

Tebow won the Heisman Trophy and a national championship during a standout collegiate career at the University of Florida. But after brief stints with the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets in the National Football League, and as a college football analyst with ESPN, Tebow — who in 2005 had been an all-state baseball player as a junior at Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Fla. — expressed interest in playing Major League Baseball.

The Mets gave Tebow an opportunity, signing him to a minor league contract on Sept. 8, 2016. Tebow was assigned to the Fireflies, to start the season; he homered in his first at-bat for the team, and has done enough to impress some in the Firefly organization.

“From a work ethic standpoint, you can see that he’s been improving since day one,” said Fireflies’ president John Katz. “He hits the ball with power. He’s fun to watch, and the fans love it.”

Even if Tebow’s pilgrimage never takes him to Coney Island, the Cyclones brass says the team is still ready to rock as the 2017 season approaches.

“Every year is a fresh start and that’s always exciting for us,” said Harner. “We have a new manager in Edgardo Alfonzo, we’ll have new players on the field, new promotions and giveaways for fans, new between-inning contests. We are looking forward to having another memorable summer at the ballpark and making new memories for everyone who attends a game this season.”

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