The story of Tim Tebow the athlete lives on, as he can now add a home run in a professional game to his achievements. When compared to winning a Heisman, this home run might not seem all that impressive but it did come at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals instructional league.
Tim Tebow, on the first pitch he saw against the St. Louis Cardinals instructional league team, hit an opposite field homer today in minor league play. This hit just adds to the larger-than-life idea of Tebow. When being an NFL quarterback didn’t work out, he would try his hand at baseball. The fact he hadn’t played since junior year of high school was not a worry for the 29-year-old.
In Tebow’s at-bat he faced the St. Louis Cardinals’ 11th-round pick out of Vanderbilt, John Kilichowski. Last year in Class A ball, Kilichowski posted a 2.70 ERA in 11 games, a very respectable number. However, in today’s game, his ERA took a hit after he faced Tebow who was batting in the second spot.
That’s right, Tebow was hitting in the two-hole for the St. Lucie Mets. To any baseball fan, seeing Tebow batting in the two-spot would have seemed as a publicity move. Now, the manager looks like a genius. It is worth noting that in his second at-bat, Tebow hit into a double play.
With this home run, especially to the opposite field, I have to admit I am impressed. Still skeptical of the move to baseball for Tebow, but impressed he found success of this magnitude in his first at-bat. He does have a great amount of strength, of that we can all admit. The challenge for Tebow is the difficult transition necessary to pick up professional pitching after a decade away from the game.
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Speaking of pitching, even at the instructional league level, these are professional-level arms. So most righties are throwing 90-plus with good off speed, and lefties are mid-to-upper 80s, some even into the 90s. Kilichowski is a 6’5″ lefty. Kilichowski commands a good fastball, and a nice breaking ball which puts him miles ahead of whatever pitching Tebow saw in high school.
Being 29 years old in a league with guys who are roughly 18-23 stacks the odds against Tebow’s future in baseball. The ultimate goal is to make it to The Show, and starting the journey passed his prime is not an easy task. If I have learned one thing as a sports fan, it is to not doubt Tim Tebow.