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Tracy McGrady gets first professional baseball start for the Sugar Land Skeeters

Tracy McGrady pitched 1.2 innings; throwing 35 pitches; 18 of them strikes in his profession debut for the Sugar Land Skeeters.
Tracy McGrady pitched 1.2 innings; throwing 35 pitches; 18 of them strikes in his profession debut for the Sugar Land Skeeters.
Robert H Kelly-TexSport Publications

The 7,701 fans in attendance at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas on Saturday, May 10, 2014 were witness to the professional baseball debut of former NBA All Star Tracy McGrady for the Sugar Land Skeeters, and judging from the cheers coming from the stands, they were not disappointed.

The former Houston Rocket and NBA Most Improved Player in 2001, T-Mac took the mound for the first time in 18 years, facing the Somerset Patriots in the fifth game of their current six game series.

The 8-8, 210 pound McGrady lasted 1.2 innings, faced nine batters and threw 35 pitches.

He started off slow in the first inning, facing six batters while throwing 23 pitches; 10 of them for strikes.

In the second inning, he faced three batters and tallied eight strikes in 12 pitches before being relieved by right handed pitcher Clint Everts.

In his professional debut, he threw a total of 18 strikes and 17 balls in giving up two hits on two runs.

In addition, he walked two batters and gave up a single home run with no strikeouts.

McGrady, in addressing the press after his appearance, had this to say about performance:

“It was a great feeling, but a little nervous. I was ready to get out there. I had a lot of nerves running through my body, but after I got through the first batter, a ground ball (out), I relaxed. I had a great time out there. I just wanted to throw strikes. If they hit it, so be it.”

He added:

“All in all, I did pretty well, and those guys seem to think I did as well. I feel well. I give myself a B-minus. There were some pitches I didn’t locate. I got ahead of batters then I lost them a bit. All in all I did pretty well.”

When questioned about the length of time he spend on the mount, and whether is was related to batters faced or pitch count, McGrady replied:

“I knew I was on a pitch count. I didn’t know what that number was. I knew I wasn’t going to go too long.”

McGrady and the Skeeters will continue their current home stand on Sunday, May 11, 2014 with a 2:05 p.m. first pitch.