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Tim Tebow’s baseball pursuit shifts to Mets’ Class A club

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After his performance in spring training, where can we expect to see Tebow?
USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Bojangles Berm is perched just beyond the fence in left center field at Spirit Communications Park, a grassy expanse that offers fans of the Columbia Fireflies a chance to stretch out on a blanket for the discount price of $5. During the Fireflies’ inaugural season, space was often ample, save for the Fourth of July, when a crowd lured by fireworks pushed attendance past 9,200.

Thursday night, however, the Fireflies will get a glimpse at life with Tim Tebow, and a minor league experience perhaps not seen since Michael Jordan rode the buses of the Southern League in 1994.

“You don’t often have a chance to market a player in the minor leagues,” Fireflies president John Katz told USA TODAY Sports. “The player is with you a short period of time, and then they’re moving up, moving up. At this level, by the time you figure out who’s a superstar, they’re at the next level.

“We have a unique opportunity with Tim.”

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Indeed, when Tebow, 29, starts in left field for the Fireflies against the Augusta GreenJackets, it will mark a convergence of celebrity, athletic curiosity and the regional phenomenon that is Southeastern Conference football.

Tebow’s Heisman Trophy and two national championships he made off with while at the University of Florida paved the way for a brief NFL career but a far more enduring status as gridiron icon, one he’s parlayed into an analyst role with ESPN’s SEC Network.

Within hours last summer of Tebow announcing his launch of an unlikely…

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