SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A day after capturing headlines for tending to an ailing fan following the game, Tim Tebow discussed his eventful first day in the AFL and then recorded some firsts on the field for the Scottsdale Scorpions.All eyes were once again on the 29-year-old former Heisman Trophy winner
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A day after capturing headlines for tending to an ailing fan following the game, Tim Tebow discussed his eventful first day in the AFL and then recorded some firsts on the field for the Scottsdale Scorpions.
All eyes were once again on the 29-year-old former Heisman Trophy winner on Wednesday, starting with his long pregame session with the media, during which he addressed the events that transpired after Tuesday's game, among a variety of other topics.
Tebow batted seventh and started in left field for the Scorpions for a second straight day, and he also went 0-for-3 for a second straight day. But he reached base for the first time in his professional career with a walk and recorded his first RBI on a fielder's choice as Scottsdale fell to Salt River, 6-4.
Gameday: Salt River 6, Scottsdale 4
On Tuesday, in his first professional game for the Mets, Tebow went hitless in three at-bats, grounding out each time, and had a teachable moment on defense when he collided with the outfield wall. But it was what transpired following the game overshadowed Tebow's on-field performance.
As he was signing autographs down the left-field line, Tebow witnessed a fan collapse and begin to experience what appeared to be a seizure. He remained by the man's side, offering comfort while also praying, until paramedics arrived on the scene.
"I just wanted to be there and pray for him," Tebow said. "I didn't know exactly what was going on, but I just wanted to be there to pray for him and lift him up and be there for him -- whatever I could possibly do.
"It's an unfortunate situation and a tragedy, but I think so many of those times can be learning opportunities for the people who get to see it. You also get to understand how to put it back into perspective -- that this is a game and it's fun, but it's still just a game. You remember what's important, people are what's important, and an opportunity to help someone is more important than anything I could have done on the baseball field yesterday. It's a reminder of why you do anything."
For Tebow, everything that had happened earlier in the day became secondary to helping the ailing man.
"When a moment like that comes you have to be ready to help people and care about people," Tebow said.
But in the wake of Tuesday's events, and with the man he helped reportedly doing better, Tebow's focus quickly shifted back to baseball.
In the bottom of the second, the left-haded-hitting Tebow coaxed a six-pitch walk against Salt River starter Javier Salas (Brewers). He fouled off the first pitch he saw into the third-base stands and then looked at three straight balls get ahead, 3-1. He swung through the next pitch, with his barrel lagging well behind Salas' fastball, to run the count full, and then trotted to first base after taking another fastball out of the zone.
In his second at-bat, in the bottom of the fourth, Tebow recorded another career first, as he extended Scottsdale's lead to 3-0 on a groundball to second base. Although the contact wasn't particularly hard, Tebow's plus speed and hustle down the line prevented the Rafters from completing a 4-6-3 double play, allowing the run to score.
After advancing from first to third base on a double by Ryder Jones, Tebow attempted to score his first run, only to be cut down at the plate by Salt River second baseman Travis Demeritte (Braves), whose throw arrived just ahead of Tebow's feet-first slide.
Tebow struck out in his third at-bat and grounded out to second to start the bottom of the ninth.
"It's all happened fast, but I'm enjoying it," Tebow said before the game. "But I totally get that it's a process, too, and really to embrace that process. I felt like there was great competition in our practices and in [instructional league]. I got to face several guys who are on this team on my last day there. I think that was really helpful for me in instructs to be able to face a lot of good competition, even if it was just in practice, just to get ready for this.
"I feel like I've been able to learn a lot and improve in a lot of different ways. But I also know that it's a process and will take time, so I just continue to have the mindset that it's a daily thing and not just going to happen overnight."
As for what the future might hold for the former NFL quarterback, Tebow is fully aware of the challenges that lie ahead of him as he attempts to achieve his goal of playing in the big leagues.
"As an athlete and as a person you have to have goals," he said, "but every day you can't wake up and say it's all about that day. It has to be about the process, the steps to get to your end goal. It's a game that I love playing and I want to pursue it and give it everything I can and be the best at it."
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.