Tim Tebow helps Mets minor league team set attendance record

Tim Tebow has proven to be a big draw in the minor leagues. (AP)

Everybody felt Tim Tebow would be a big attraction as he began his baseball journey. But even calling him a big attraction may have underestimated his drawing power.

The former Heisman Trophy- winning quarterback turned 29-year-old baseball prospect has been packing them in at minor league ballparks all season, and that’s helped one Mets affiliate set a single-season attendance record with one month still left to play in their season.

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Tebow has only been with the Port St. Lucie Mets since the final week of June, so they had to have been drawing well before his arrival. But if drawing nearly 4,000 fans for a High-A game is any indication, his star power in Florida has pushed their attendance over the top.

It was reported in May that Tebow’s mere presence was driving attendance in the South Atlantic League, where Tebow spent the first two-plus months with the Low-A Columbia Fireflies. Some reports had Columbia’s attendance up thirty percent, while other teams around the league saw their average routinely doubled when Tebow was in town. That speaks to his star power, which Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has admitted played a big role in their decision to sign Tebow.

Though his play at Columbia didn’t necessarily warrant a promotion, the team gave him one anyway in what seemed to be a clear decision to spread the wealth among its minor league affiliates. That has obviously been the case based on this new record, but it’s actually worked on two fronts with Tebow’s play having drastically improved at a higher level too.

The brighter the lights, the better Tebow seemed to play in college. That’s holding true so far too in his baseball career. If that continues, that should guarantee that the Mets affiliates at the Double-A and Triple-A level will eventually benefit as well.

For now though, it’s 108,057 and counting, and we’re sure the Port St. Lucie Mets couldn’t be happier.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!