Tim Tebow is taking his baseball talents international.
The World Baseball Classic announced Wednesday that Tebow would play for Team Philippines in the tournament’s qualifying round. Set to take place from March 12 to the 25, the WBC qualifying round consists of two groups that have six teams each.
Tebow will participate in the second qualifying tournament from March 20 to the 25, representing the Philippines and competing against Great Britain, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Panama and Spain. The WBC format is double-elimination.
“I’ve just got such a heart for the Philippines,” said Tebow, a native of Makati, Philippines. “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.”
Tebow’s parents were Baptist missionaries who moved from the Philippines to Florida when Tim was three years old.
Tebow, 32, is in the midst of his fourth spring training with the Mets in Port St. Lucie since signing his first minor-league contract in September on 2016. Tebow, who hit a mammoth home run for the Mets on Tuesday, turned to baseball after stints with the Broncos and Jets in the NFL.
Tebow has slashed .223/.299/.338 in 287 minor league games with 18 homers and 107 RBIs. He’s struggled with injuries throughout his baseball career, including a laceration in his left pinkie and a broken bone in his right hand.