Tim Tebow to suit up for PH batters in World Baseball Classic Qualifiers
By Jonas Terrado
The national baseball team will be having a prominent name in next month’s 2021 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers with the addition of former NFL quarterback turned Minor League baseball player Tim Tebow.
Tim Tebow while playing baseball in the Minor Leagues. (File photo)
Tebow confirmed his decision to suit up for the Philippines after playing for the New York Mets in a 4-2 loss to the Houston Astros in a Spring Training game in Port St. Lucie, Florida where he struck out but reached base in his only at-bat.
“To be able to represent them will be really cool — really, really cool,” Tebow said as quoted by Mets beat writer Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. You don’t get a lot of chances to represent people or places that mean something to you.”
Tebow is eligible to play for the Philippines under WBC since he was born in Makati City to American missionaries in 1987.
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
The WBC allows players to represent nations where they are born, one of the less-stringent rules of the competition as compared to the strict regulations imposed like in the Olympics and by basketball governing body FIBA.
Philippine Amateur Baseball Association Chito Loyzaga said it contacted Tebow with help from Major League Baseball about the possibility of representing the country in the Qualifiers slated March 20 to 25 in Tuczon, Arizona.
The Philippines is in Pool 2 along with Czech Republic, Spain, New Zealand and Panama in a double-elimination format. The Nationals open their campaign on March 20 against Czech Republic.
“PABA reached out to him through the assistance of MLB and its Baseball network,” Loyzaga told the Bulletin.
— New York Mets (@Mets) February 26, 2020
Tebow became a familiar figure after winning the prestigious Heisman Trophy award in 2007 while playing quarterback for Florida in the US NCAA.
He played quarterback for four NFL teams, including a stirring performance for the Denver Broncos during the 2011 season while taking part in charitable endeavors in the Philippines.
Tebow made the switch to baseball in 2016 where he has spent the past five seasons in the Minor Leagues, including last season for the Mets’ Triple A affiliate Syracuse Mets.
MLB observers see little chance of Tebow making the Majors this year, though he homered for the Mets in Tuesday’s Spring Training game against the Detroit Tigers.
Tags: 2021 World Baseball Classic, 2021 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, Chito Loyzaga, Major League Baseball, MLB, MLB Spring Training, New York Mets, Philippine Amateur Baseball Association, Philippine baseball, Philippine baseball team, Tim Tebow, World Baseball Classic