Where Tebow walks is sacred ground for one minor league team

Tim Tebow has covered a lot of ground in his life. Now somebody is trying to sell it.

Tebow has traveled the world. From his birth and missionary in the Philippines, to starring on the gridiron at the University of Florida, to a brief but well-chronicled career in the NFL, to his journey in professional baseball – which included a stop in Columbia playing for the Fireflies.

It’s not a surprise somebody is trying to cash in on the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback’s popularity, but the latest promotion is bizarre.

Since being promoted from the Fireflies to the St. Lucie Mets on June 25, Tebow plays in the Florida State League. One of his new rivals has an interesting marketing plan for when Tebow and the Mets visit their park.

Atlanta’s affiliate in the FSL will welcome Tebow and St. Lucie for a four-game set starting on July 21 – and the dirt Tebow stands upon at the plate can be yours. The Florida Fire Frogs are offering a package where, for $50, fans can be on the field to watch batting practice, get a preferred seat, access to VIP areas, a parking pass and, yes, a commemorative bottle of dirt from the batter’s box.

While the latest promotion is a new one, the Fire Frogs are far from the only team trying to capitalize on Tebow’s fame. Even his own team, the New York Mets, admitted they signed Tebow for more than his abilities on the diamond.

“Look, we signed him because he is a good guy, partly because of his celebrity, partly because this is an entertainment business,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson recently said of signing the former football player who had spent 11 years away from baseball. “My attitude is ‘why not?’ “he said, per Newsday’s Roger Rubin.

Tebow was a hit with fans in Columbia, and the Fireflies regularly sold out road games while he was playing left field. He’s been just as popular in St. Lucie, and more productive at the plate.

With St. Lucie, Tebow is 6-for-14 (.429) with a home run, two RBIs, two runs scored, three walks and three strikeouts. Counting his time in Columbia, Tebow is 53-for-228 (.232) on the season with 25 RBIs and 72 strikeouts.

Tebow homered on his first day playing with the Mets – he homered in his first at-bat with the Fireflies. It was Tebow’s fourth home run of the season. He also made a leaping catch to save a home run at Fort Myers on Friday.