Tom Sorensen

Tim Tebow’s fantasy with Columbia Fireflies? Here’s where it begins and ends

Tim Tebow should enjoy his stay with the Class A Columbia Fireflies, but his fans shouldn’t expect the fantasy trip to continue much beyond where he is.
Tim Tebow should enjoy his stay with the Class A Columbia Fireflies, but his fans shouldn’t expect the fantasy trip to continue much beyond where he is. online@thestate.com

Tim Tebow hit a home run Thursday in his first at bat for the Columbia Fireflies, and he hit another Sunday.

Somewhere, an owner of a fantasy baseball team is trying work a deal so that when Tebow reaches the major leagues, his team has the rights to him. Somewhere, an owner has a really bad fantasy team.

Major league success is a fantasy for Tebow. The Fireflies are a Class A New York Mets’ farm team, and Tebow is 29. He’s been away from baseball 12 years, and the chances he someday cracks the roster in New York are infinitesimal.

But wouldn’t you love to see it?

Tebow is one of sports’ most famous failures. Five seasons ago he led the Denver Broncos to a playoff upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But if you play at the highest level of a sport, and you have a flaw, you will be found out.

Tebow’s flaw is that he can’t pass. He worked at it. He spent time with passing gurus, working on his game. But throwing a ball accurately and with consistency is a skill he lacks.

So here he is in Columbia, playing in front of fans who buy his jersey and scream his name.

His early season power is no surprise. Have you even stood next to the guy? When we were introduced, I looked up and kept looking up. He’s 6-3 and a powerful 255 pounds. And he’s as courteous and as unpretentious as you’d think.

If Tebow sticks with the Fireflies, he’ll make bus rides to South Atlantic League stops such as Kannapolis, Greensboro, Asheville, Hickory, Charleston and Greenville. That’s a long time to share a bus with players who were kids when Tebow helped Denver beat the Steelers.

Almost every minor league baseball team I’ve been around has a player who really ought to know better than to play a game when he should be working.

But if you love baseball, and a team says, “Hey, you want to play?” what would you do?

Tebow doesn’t have to do this. He gets to do. I hope he enjoys the ride.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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