COLUMBIA, South Carolina – A year to remember for Ashtin Gerberg continued on Wednesday night during a Columbia Fireflies minor league baseball game when the young Leland boy had a chance to meet athlete and celebrity Tim Tebow.
The Low Class-A affiliate of the New York Mets has been making waves throughout the early season schedule after the big league franchise assigned the former college and NFL player to its minor league club following spring training in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Gerberg, otherwise known as “Mini-Thor,” for his likeness to Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, has enjoyed his own notoriety.
After initially going viral on YouTube for a video filmed outside his Leland home simulating a game with his dad, Gerberg has since made a trip to Citi Field in New York City to throw out the ceremonial first-pitch. He took batting practice against Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz during a visit to the MLB Network studios. Most recently, Gerberg and his family spent a day at spring training last month to shoot a television segment with SportsNet New York for a children’s program, Mets Clubhouse.
And on Wednesday, two titans of social media met as the flowing locks of soon-to-be six-year old Ashtin streamed down from his Mets hat. After being asked to throw out the first-pitch leading up to the game against the Hickory Crawdads, he and his dad had a chance to meet Tebow for a photo op and quick conversation.
“The people I’ve been in contact with the Mets over the past year told me to e-mail them if we were coming to a game,” said Ashtin’s dad, Aaron Gerberg. “So I said to Ashtin last night let’s go see Tebow play. Then I figured let me e-mail the PR person for the Fireflies and see if I can get Ashtin to meet Tebow. She responded that they are very excited Ashtin is coming and they want him to throw out the first pitch.”
Tebow, who’s been a brand name in the sports world since his playing days at the University of Florida, and brief stint in the NFL, decided to take up baseball last season. After working out for several Major League clubs, the Mets signed Tebow to a minor league deal to finish out the 2016 campaign.