Saturday, August 10, 2019
Injury sidelines Tim Tebow for rest of baseball season. (Newsday, SAR)
By Kenny DeJohn / Newsday
Posted Aug 10, 2019 at 7:38 PM
Former Nease and Florida Gators star Tim Tebow is out for the rest of the Triple-A baseball season due to a hand injury.
Former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow’s third season of professional baseball is over.
The 31-year-old outfielder playing for the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a deep cut on his left hand on July 21, a source told Newsday’s Tim Healey.
The source said that Tebow, who excelled on both the gridiron and the diamond at Nease High School, is expected to be back next season. He’s been rehabbing independently.
Tebow, whose National Football League career sputtered after starring at Florida, had a disappointing season with the Syracuse Mets, batting .163 with four home runs over 239 at-bats before suffering a cut hand while attempting to make a catch in the outfield. The injury had left Tebow without a clear timetable to return, but the laceration has not healed to the point where he can come back.
“He’ll be out for as long as it takes to heal, get back on track,” Syracuse manager Tony DeFrancesco had told Syracuse.com after the injury. “It’s just kind of in an awkward spot between his index finger, his ring finger and pinkie.”
As with many celebrities, Tebow attracts a crowd. He’s done so with the Florida Gators and Denver Broncos, and he’s doing it in Syracuse, too — even while on the injured list.
“Usually, it’s funny because you’ll go to the stadium and most people are there to see Tim,” Mets infielder Luis Guillorme said before Friday’s 7-6 win over the Nationals at Citi Field. “Even now, he’s been hurt. He hasn’t been at the games, but you still hear fans saying, ‘We want Tebow.’ As a player, it kind of sucks at the same time. You’re trying to play a game and all you hear is people asking for a guy that, nothing against him, but he’s not there.”
Guillorme joked as he delivered the latter part of that statement, but the fanfare has been extreme — even though Tebow’s slash line hasn’t been particularly palatable.
“People love him,” Mets reliever Chris Mazza said. “You can just see. I mean, he’s a celebrity. For a lot of the fans coming to the game, a lot of times, it’s just to see him. It’s cool in that aspect because we get more fans.”
There’s a little added security around the team, Mazza said, because fans seemingly can’t get enough of the former quarterback who played for the Jets in 2012.
“We have more fans at the hotels trying to track him down,” Mazza said. “We always get the questions, like, ‘Hey, can you go get Tebow?’ I’m always like, ‘No, he’s getting ready for the game.’”
Mazza called Tebow “a really good dude, a really nice person,” but Tebow’s experiment as a professional baseball player hasn’t gone swimmingly. He managed to hit .273 with six home runs and 36 RBIs for Binghamton last season, but his campaign was cut short when he broke his right hand and needed surgery.
The Mets bumped him to Triple-A anyway, and the results haven’t been great. He was in the midst of his best month of the season when he cut his hand, but that only equated to a .205 average with two solo home runs in 44 at-bats.