Tim Tebow is attempting to play in the World Baseball Classic next year, with one unusual twist: He’ll be playing for the Philippines’ national team. Tebow was born in the country in 1987 while his parents were serving as missionaries there.
“I’ve just got such a heart for the Philippines,” Tebow told reporters on 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.”
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 Philippines is one of 12 countries playing in the qualifying round to earn one of the final four spots in the 20-team WBC. They take on the Czech Republic on March 20, in Tucson, Ariz. Next year’s WBC, which will be the fifth such event, will be played March 9-23, 2021, in Taiwan, Japan, Phoenix and Miami, the latter of which will host the championship round.
Tebow and the Philippines, ranked 32nd in the world, are a long shot to make the main tournament, but at the very least it allows Tebow to honor his birth country.
The story of Tebow’s unlikely birth has made news before, though for different reasons. In 2010, a pro-life ad played during the Super Bowl and referenced how Tebow’s mother, Pam, was encouraged to abort him as an unborn child. While pregnant, Pam contracted amoebic dysentery and the medicines used for her recovery threatened her pregnancy. Doctors advised her to abort.
“You see, my mom 32 years ago had doctors tell her she needed to abort me because if she didn’t, it was going to cost her life,” Tebow said in a keynote address for the Kansans for Life’s banquet held earlier this month. “And they didn’t even believe that I was a baby. They thought I was a tumor …
“When I was born, they found out the placenta wasn’t actually attached. So, the doctor looked at my mom after 37 years of being a doctor and said, ‘This is the biggest miracle I’ve ever seen because I’m not sure how he’s alive.’ … I’m so grateful that my mom trusted God with my life and her life.”
Tebow added that he would rather be remembered for saving unborn children’s lives rather than winning the Super Bowl.
“It really does mean a lot more than winning the Super Bowl,” Tebow said, according to NRL News Today. “One day, when you look back and people are talking about you and they say, ‘Oh my gosh, what are you going to be known for? Are you going to say ‘Super Bowl,’ or ‘We saved a lot of babies?'”
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