Former University of Florida and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow will begin this baseball season with the Class A Columbia (S.C.) Fireflies.
The Fireflies, who are the lower A-ball affiliate of the New York Mets, are members of the South Atlantic League and open their season April 6 against the Augusta GreenJackets.
Tebow, 29, signed a minor league contract with the Mets in September and began his baseball career with a short stint in the Arizona Fall League, his first continuous baseball action in more than a decade since he played for Nease High School.
The former Heisman Trophy winner, who will be about a decade older than many of his teammates and competitors, has played a few games with the Mets during Grapfruit League spring training action. Entering Monday's game, Tebow had four singles and five strikeouts in 17 at-bats and has played decently well in the outfield.
“Sending him to a full season club is what we hoped to be able to do,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told Newsday, which first reported Tebow's assignment Monday. “And based on what he’s done in spring training, and his whole body of work since last fall, we feel comfortable with him going to Columbia.”
The Mets have a higher A-ball club in Port St. Lucia, Fla., which could be Tebow's next stop if he plays well for the Fireflies.