Philippine baseball just got a boost from one of the biggest personalities the sporting world saw last decade.
Former NFL pro and current AAA-level baseball player Tim Tebow has accepted the invitation of the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association to play for the country in the 2021 World Baseball Classic qualifiers.
“I’ve just got such a heart for the Philippines,” Tebow told MLB.com. “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.”
Unlike in the Olympics, the Classic has a more lenient stance on the players who can represent their country.
Though not having Filipino parents, Tebow was born in Makati City back on August 14, 1987. He lived in the Philippines until he was five years old.
Tebow would then have a stellar football career, winning the prestigious Heisman Trophy in 2007 before playing in the NFL from 2010-15.
In 2014, he opened a hospital in Davao called the Tebow CURE Hospital.
“I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been back,” Tebow said about the Philippines. “I’ve spent a lot of time. Love the people.”
After remaining unsigned in the summer of 2015, Tebow switched sports, playing baseball.
Tebow is primarily a left fielder and a DH.
The Philippines is slotted with Panama, Czech Republic, Great Britain, New Zealand, and Spain in Qualifier 2 of the WBCQ. The tournament will be held from March 12 to 25 in Tucson, Arizona.