Tim Tebow’s dream of reaching the major leagues is still a work in progress, but the New York Mets minor league outfielder is aiming to play in the World Baseball Classic in 2021.
The former Heisman Trophy winner will play for the Philippines in WBC qualifiers next month.
How? Tebow was born in Philippines in 1987 when his parents lived in the country as missionaries and moved to the U.S. just before his fifth birthday.
“I’ve just got such a heart for the Philippines,” Tebow said Wednesday. “I’ve just really had a love for the people for a long time. To be able to represent them will be really cool — really, really cool. You don’t get a lot of chances to represent people or places that mean something to you.”
The Philippines are one of four countries vying for a spot in the WBC. They play the Czech Republic on Friday, March 20 in Tucson, Ariz.
The Philippines failed to qualify for the main tournament in both 2013 and 2017.
Tebow, 32, is entering his fourth full minor league season with the Mets. In 287 games, he has batted .223 with 18 homers and 327 strikeouts.
He hit a home run in a spring training game against the Tigers on Tuesday.
“I’ve gotten to play in a lot of cool sporting activities and big games,” Tebow said, “but this is the first one representing a country versus other countries.”