Tracy McGrady is best known for being a basketball player, a great one at that. He played 15 years, averaging nearly 20 points per game, but retirement didn't sit to well with him. He had a dream to play professional baseball. Far-fetched yes, but the independent Sugar Land Skeeters saw an opportunity and ran with it.
McGrady worked with Roger Clemens and was even clocked at 90mph during off-season workouts. He performed admirably against Alvin College in a preseason warmup, throwing 15 pitches, nine of those were for strikes.
Throwing strikes ultimately became McGrady's downfall.
Making the team was a long shot in the eyes of most, but it's a good move for an indy team. The Skeeters are one of the best indy teams out there and they can draw. They've sat atop the attendance leaders each year since their inaugural 2012 season pulling in over 1 million fans. They put a winning product on the field and have seen big names likes, Roger Clemens, Scott Kazmir and Jason Lane, (all with MLB experience) take the field. Having McGrady on the mound made perfect sense.
Unfortunately, the stars didn't align and McGrady has officially retired from baseball, according to CBS Sports.
Purely for PR, McGrady participated in the Atlantic League Home Run Derby and went Yasiel Puig putting up a donut. He was named starter for the All-Game and took the hill for the last time. He gave up one run on one hit. After recording his first professional strikeout, McGrady walked off the mound to a standing ovation and announced his retirement.
Overall, the numbers aren't that impressive. In four starts he went 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA. He walked 10 guys.
In an interview with CBS, McGrady's dream of playing baseball was realized. Even though it didn't turn out the way he way he liked, the experience is something he will never forget.
“This has been an awesome year. Not having my basketball career end the way I wanted but having the opportunity to be friends with some of the guys and get to know them and compete with them, learn from them every day, it’s been an honor.”