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Minor League Baseball had a ‘good’ year financially, and it can thank Tim Tebow

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Minor League Baseball president Pat O'Conner explained why in a conversation with Baseball America.

Arizona Fall League Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Whatever you think of Tim Tebow’s foray into a minor league baseball career, it looks like MiLB sure appreciated his participation this year. In fact, during a conversation between Baseball America and MiLB president Pat O’Conner, the latter credited the decent year to Tebow’s star power.

In the interview, O’Conner discusses the league’s financial performance this year, saying, “It wasn't a great year, it was a good year” because of bad weather that affected multiple teams’ games and schedules.

He goes on to explain,

... what Mother Nature taketh, Tim Tebow giveth. Tebow was a saving grace for the global result. But it was a good year. You just can't do anything about the weather.

...

I did because of the regionality of it. He played most of his season in the Southeast Conference territory, and he finished his season in Florida. I expected good numbers. There's the Tim Tebow lovers, and then there are those who are curious. If you add that combination up and you see what you get. I think it was very positive. I think it was very positive for the game overall, and I know it was positive for Minor League Baseball.

So despite his play this year not turning into the most inspiring stat line, he put butts into seats. Which, a cynical person might say, is the only reason he’s even still on a team. It surely helps a little bit when they’re looking at who makes the roster and gets promoted, especially now that it’s out in the world that the money he is pulling in is significant enough to make a noticeable difference.

O’Conner didn’t actually make it to a game to watch Tebow, but said of his time in the minors.

Never asked for much. Never was demanding. Didn't have an entourage. Would come and tell you the first day he got there, (he'd) do 15 minutes about his whole transition to baseball thing. I want to do it in the dugout, weather permitting. I don't want to burden my teammates. I want to do 15 minutes, bring everybody you want.

That tracks with reports of his personality while in the minors this summer, and that’s honestly nice to hear. If someone’s persona, comparative level of fame, and marketing power is the reason (maybe) that they’re playing, then it’s good that it’s actually panning out the way the league wants it to, theoretically.

We’ll see if another full season of Tebow in the league still adds the same financial boost, but it’s working out for everyone so far.