PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - Playing in his second instructional league baseball game with the New York Mets organization Thursday, Tim Tebow was hit by a pitch from lefty Chandler Hawkins during his third at bat. According to witnesses, the former NFL player immediately threw down his bat and aggressively charged the pitcher's mound - but rather than engaging in the traditional fistfight or shoving match, Tebow rushed out to immediately forgive Hawkins face to face.
"I ran out there because I knew he probably felt bad about plunking me, and I wanted to pursue immediate reconciliation," Tebow told reporters. "The Bible teaches that if your brother has something against you, drop everything and go restore the relationship. I needed to reach out to Chandler right away and forgive him for drilling me in the rib cage with that fastball."
Witnesses state that Tebow, listed at 6'3", 255 pounds, held out his arms as he approached the mound at a full sprint. Hawkins, apparently confused by the gesture, dropped his glove and raised his fists, but Tebow immediately wrapped him up in a bear hug.
"I told him it was OK, everyone makes mistakes, and his defensiveness just melted away," said Tebow. "The Bible says to go to your brother and settle your grievances one-on-one, but if that fails, to bring 2 or 3 brothers with you the next time. I guess that's why a lot of my teammates came running out of the dugout. They wanted to make sure we followed the Biblical model of reconciliation. I love these guys."
According to reports, the umpire had to break up the meeting to continue the game, as Tebow remained on the mound telling Hawkins how to receive forgiveness for his sins through a relationship with Jesus Christ.