Tim Tebow, St. Lucie Mets swing through Tampa Bay

By Angela Angers, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, August 11, 2017, 9:38 AM EDT

Tim Tebow kicked off a week-long stay in the Bay Area Thursday night as the St. Lucie Mets take on the Tampa Yankees at Steinbrenner Field.

  • St. Lucie Mets starts week-long stay in Tampa area
  • Tim Tebow played Thursday in left field in the 8th inning
  • Mets playing Tampa Yankees, then Clearwater Threshers

Tebow was not on the starting lineup for Thursday's game, but was subbed in during the 8th inning as a defensive replacement in left field.

This stop in Tampa comes towards the end of his first full season playing minor league baseball.

“It’s really not that much of a grind if you enjoy what you’re doing every day," Tebow said before Thursday's game. "So I try and have the mindset of remembering why I play the game and how fun it is every day.”

He's batting .254 with five home runs so far this season. The Heisman Trophy-winning UF football player says he's still learning the game of baseball.

“I’m continually changing things too, in my swing, in my rhythm and my timing of things, so sometimes when you’re working on things, you need to take a step back to take a couple of steps forward," he said.

But where Tebow goes, the fans follow. The St. Lucie Mets reported a 50 percent jump in attendence this season. Thursday's game was no exception.  

“I thought the chance to see Tim Tebow would be the best present," said Vivien Keen, who was celebrating her 73rd birthday at Thursday's game.

While Tebow only played less than two innings, fans were still excited for the chance to see him in person.  

“I plan to go in and see if I can get an autograph… meet him, say hello… and then try to catch a home run ball, obviously," said longtime fan Austin Alonso.

Tebow will be playing in Tampa until Sunday, then heading over to Clearwater for a four game series against the Threshers. He will be in the Bay Area during his 30th birthday on Monday.