Tim Tebow has been assigned to the New York Mets Class-A affiliate, the Columbia Fireflies (the lower of two), the club announced.

While it's not the majors-- he's no where close to that yet-- it's an accomplishment for the former quarterback who won a Heisman Trophy while at Florida and played three seasons in the NFL.

"No one works harder than Tim this spring," Terry Collins told Newsday. "He was a pleasure to have around. What he wants is to improve. I'm sure he'll be a great influence on the kids in Columbia and the fans will enjoy watching him play."

While the young Fireflies will have a veteran-like voice, Tebow isn't satisfied with just being a name on a minor league roster. He wants to continue to work his way up despite being significantly older than most he plays with in the minors.

Tebow signed with the organization last Sept. and participated in three Florida Instructional League games. He hit a home run at his first at-bat. He played in 19 games in the Arizona Fall league. Tebow, 29, hit .286 in those games. He has not played a full season of baseball since 2004.

The team expects Tebow to get to keep his number, 15, which he's worn throughout his football career and now baseball career.

The Fireflies open the season at home on April 6 against the Augusta (Ga.) GreenJackets.

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