Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has a great story about Indians utility man Jack Hannahan.
Two weeks ago Hannahan’s wife went into labor with the couple’s first child nearly three months before her October 26 due date. Hannahan and Indians director of team travel Mike Seghi worked on finding a last-minute flight from Boston to Cleveland, but there was nothing until the next morning.
They looked into booking a private jet, but when Hannahan–who’s earning $500,000 after spending nine seasons in the minors–saw the $50,000 price tag he decided just to take the regular flight in the morning … until his teammates chimed in.
“Everybody on this team, young and old, put something together to help Hannie out,” Justin Masterson told Hoynes. “[Austin] Kearns, [Travis] Hafner, [Shin-Soo] Choo, we all said ‘He needs to be there.’ That how all the guys felt.”
When everyone was done kicking in some money they had collected $35,000. And so Hannahan booked the private jet, flew to Cleveland, and arrived at the hospital 15 minutes before his son was born at 3:11 am.
John Joseph Hannahan V weighed just two pounds, 12 ounces and is expected to remain in the hospital until October, but Hannahan called him “a little miracle” and said he’s “been doing great in the hospital.”
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.