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Now batting for the Philippines, Tim Tebow

The Mets minor-leaguer and former Florida Gators quarterback will play in the World Baseball Classic for the country where he was born.
Tim Tebow, playing then for the St. Lucie Mets in the Florida State League, has a laugh while answering questions during a news conference at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa on Aug. 10, 2017. [Tampa Bay Times]

PORT ST. LUCIE — Tim Tebow is set to swing into action for a new team.

The New York Mets minor-league outfielder and 2007 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Florida will play for the Philippines next month in the World Baseball Classic.

Tebow was born in the Philippines in 1987 when his parents were serving as Baptist missionaries in the country. The family moved to Florida when he was 3 years old.

“I’m kind of excited about it,” Tebow, 32, said Wednesday. “I think it’s cool.”

On Tuesday, Tebow homered in a spring training game in Lakeland against the Detroit Tigers. He has spent parts of four seasons in the minors with the Mets and hit .163 with four home runs, 19 RBIs and an OPS of .495 in 77 games last year in his first stint at Triple A. In 287 games in the minors, his slash line is .223/.299/.338 with 18 home runs, 85 and 327 strikeouts.

Tebow helped Florida win two college football national championships, then played in the NFL with Denver and the New York Jets.

Tebow said that Mets management supported his upcoming stint in the WBC. The Philippines will play in a qualifying tournament March 20-25 in Tucson, Arizona, with teams from Panama, New Zealand, Great Britain, the Czech Republic and Spain.

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