New York Mets minor leaguer Tim Tebow isn’t wearing No. 15 in spring training, and it has to do with the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.
No. 15 has, at least for the most part, been Tim Tebow‘s go-to number. He wore it during his Heisman Trophy-winning days at the University of Florida and additionally with the Denver Broncos and New York Jets of the NFL. He’s also sported that number as a New York Mets minor leaguer.
But during this year’s spring training — one in which Tebow is in Port St. Lucie for — the 32-year-old will be sporting No. 85. Why is this?
Well, it has to do with Carlos Beltrán and the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.
When Beltrán became the Mets manager back in early November, he retrieved the No. 15 jersey. It was the number he wore during his playing days in Queens from 2005-11. Nonetheless, Beltrán stepped down as the ballclub’s skipper after just 2.5 months amid the massive cheating scandal. Carlos played for the Astros in 2017 and was said to be at the forefront of the wrongdoing.
With that, the Mets are refraining from providing the number to someone else this spring. Tebow is ultimately taking the high road when it comes to the situation though.
“I like No. 15 a lot, but I totally get it,” he said, per Mike Puma of the New York Post.
Tebow is looking to impress this spring and eventually earn a spot on the major-league squad, something he’s yet to do. The former NFLer originally signed with the Mets organization in September 2016.
Last year, Tebow hit .163 with four home runs and 19 RBIs through 77 games with Triple-A Syracuse.