Former NFL quarterback and current Mets outfield prospect Tim Tebow will play for the Philippines in the upcoming World Baseball Classic qualifiers. WBC Baseball made the announcement on Wednesday. Tebow’s parents were Baptist missionaries in the Philippines at the time of his birth, and they moved back to the U.S. when Tebow was three years old.
Tebow, 32, is coming into his fourth minor league season with the Mets since deciding to pursue a baseball career. Across 287 games in the minors, he owns a slash line of .223/.299/.338 with 18 home runs and 85 walks against 327 strikeouts. This past season, Tebow put up an OPS of .495 in 77 games at the Triple-A level. He’s in camp with the Mets, and he recently hit his first spring training home run.
Prior to trying his hand at baseball, Tebow was a quarterback in the NFL for parts of three seasons. Over that span he made 16 starts. Before that, Tebow was a wildly popular and successful quarterback for the University of Florida. He guided the Gators to a national championship and won the Heisman Trophy.
As for the World Baseball Classic, the 2021 edition is expanding to 20 teams. Sixteen teams receive automatic bids, and Team Philippines is trying to secure one of those four remaining berths. The qualifiers to determine those final four teams, which Tebow will participate in, will take place from March 13-25 of this year in Tucson, Ariz. Team Philippines has twice participated in WBC qualifiers and has a 1-4 record in those games. The country has never qualified for the main tournament.
The United States won the previous World Baseball Classic in 2017. You can find the dates and venues for the 2021 edition here.
Grateful and excited to play for team Philippines ?? in the @WBCbaseball… the country I was born in and somewhere that is near and dear to my heart!— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) February 26, 2020