Former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady took the next step towards a career in professional baseball when he made his first appearance for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters on Wednesday night.
McGrady was named Sugar Land’s starting pitcher for their exhibition game against Alvin Community College. He lasted one inning, allowing one run on three hits, but despite the traffic needed only 15 pitches (nine strikes, six balls) to get back to the dugout.
It was a pretty efficient outing by all accounts, but it sounds as through Alvin was aggressive at the plate and swinging at everything McGrady pumped in the zone.
According to KHOU in Houston, The Skeeters entered play on Wednesday with 34 players on their roster. That number must be down to 27 by April 24, which is when they open their regular season. That gives McGrady one week, or in baseball time, perhaps one or two more opportunities, to prove he belongs with the team.
Considering Sugar Land went on to defeat Alvin 10-1, he might have a bit of an uphill battle as he's the only pitcher to be scored upon. Then again, his box office appeal is probably enough to overcome a minor blemish.
It should be interesting. We know McGrady is dead serious about making his baseball dream become a reality. He even spent time with Roger Clemens during the winter, picking his brain and working on his mechanics, which shows his level of commitment.
“Absolutely. I’ve been dreaming of this since I was a kid. The dream has come true, and it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, even when I was playing basketball for 16 years,” said McGrady, 34.
“Baseball is always in the back of my mind. I’m fortunate enough to be healthy and come out here to give it a shot. This is something I’ve always wanted to do. This is fun to me. I love waking up and coming to the ballpark.”
At 34, it's unlikely he'd see much advancement past independant ball even in a best case scenario, but just the fact he's living out a dream makes it worthwhile. We'll be following McGrady as his journey continues.
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