Schaumburg Boomers general manager Pete Laven’s phone rang at 7 a.m. Tuesday, alerting him that Tim Tebow wanted to break into baseball.
Within a few hours, the Boomers had offered a contact to the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner.
“Anything you can do to get people in the park,” Laven said Wednesday. “There’s a lot of [minor-league baseball] competition in the Chicagoland area, so we always look for whatever edge we can get.”
Laven said the club had exchanged voicemails with Tebow’s representatives and expected to have a response soon. They’ve made it clear Tebow’s intentions are genuine.
“This may sound like a publicity stunt, but nothing could be further from the truth,” CAA baseball agent Brodie Van Wagenen said in a statement. “I have seen Tim’s workouts, and people inside and outside the industry — scouts, executives, players and fans — will be impressed by his talent.”
Tebow hasn’t played baseball full time since 2005, but Boomers manager Jamie Bennett said he thought Tebow could help the club not only as an outfielder, but as a strong clubhouse presence.
The Boomers, who have won two Frontier League championships in their five years of existence, have had some injuries that could open a spot for Tebow. Laven said that would make the move as much about baseball as it would be about drawing fans.
“It would be different if we were bringing in Mark Wahlberg or somebody to play outfield with a camera crew following him around,” Laven said. “Tebow is an elite athlete, [and] the general public and sports fans all over the country want to really see if he can pull this off.”
The Boomers went as far as to put a Tebow jersey mock-up on their Twitter feed. Laven said the Boomers are ready to move forward with Tebow, who indicated he wanted to work out for major-league clubs later this month.
ESPN reported that Tebow worked out for the Dodgers in the offseason and drew some interest. In the meantime, Laven believes the Boomers could provide Tebow a starting point while benefitting from the former NFL quarterback’s baseball skills.
“[He’s got a] good swing,” Laven said. “He obviously wouldn’t have any trouble driving the ball, and I think he could turn into a good power hitter under the tutelage of our coaching staff. I think they could convert his lefty jump pass into quite a weapon here on the baseball diamond. I think the possibilities are endless.”
Wolves re-sign Kristo
Danny Kristo, the Wolves’ leading scorer last season, agreed to a two-way contract Tuesday. He had a career-high 48 points (25 goals) last year and led the AHL with four game-winning goals. Kristo, who was a second-round pick out of North Dakota in the 2008 NHL entry draft, has 72 goals and 68 assists in 217 AHL regular-season games.
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