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Tracy McGrady will pitch for the Sugar Land Skeeters

Feb 4, 2014, 6:03 PM EDT

Tracy McGrady Getty Images

Former NBA star Tracy McGrady confirmed Tuesday that he will pursue a pitching career with the Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters this season.

McGrady, who turns 35 in May, played 16 seasons in the NBA and made seven All-Star teams. He wrapped up his career last summer by playing in six postseason games with the Spurs after sitting out the regular season. He led the league in points per game in 2002-03 (32.1) and 2003-04 (28.0).

The Skeeters, who play their games just outside Houston, are managed by former major league All-Star Gary Gaetti and had ex-major leaguers such as Scott Elarton, Jason Lane and Fernando Perez on the team last season. Roger Clemens briefly pitched for the club in 2012.

Clemens recently watched McGrady throw, according to Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle, and said McGrady wasn’t quite ready for game action as is.

“He’s not there yet,” Clemens said. “[He] needs more time to react to live hitters and calls coming back [toward] him.”

  1. asimonetti88 - Feb 4, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    This is awesome. He was a really enjoyable player to watch in his prime before knee injuries robbed him of what could have been an all-time great career. I really hope he can go out there and show something, even if it is unlikely he does anything special.

  2. stekaz - Feb 4, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    The Sugar Land Skeeters? Does anyone have a picture of the cap? The potential merchandising is probably the entire value of the franchise.

    • raysfan1 - Feb 4, 2014 at 7:29 PM

      • stekaz - Feb 4, 2014 at 8:59 PM

        Thanks. Maybe I’ll send a little sugar to Sugar Land.

      • stex52 - Feb 5, 2014 at 7:50 AM

        Just down the road about five miles from me. First it was Roger Clemens, now Tracy McGrady. They do know how to market.

  3. jm91rs - Feb 4, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    I guess he can’t stay healthy enough for it, but I’d think his size and athleticism would translate better to the nfl as pitching isn’t really a skill you can discover after 15 years of playing another sport.

    • genericcommenter - Feb 4, 2014 at 10:17 PM

      There are more 35 year old pitchers than 35 year-old 6’8 NFL players with bad knees.

      • jm91rs - Feb 5, 2014 at 9:46 AM

        And exactly how many 35 year olds that haven’t pitched competitively in (at least) 15 years? Zero. I’m sure the thumbs down come from people thinking I ventured over from pft, but the fact is that this guy’s athleticism translates better to football than baseball. Baseball is not a sport you can simply do because you’re athletic (ask michael Jordan), it’s a sport that requires athleticism, skill and tons of practice. In football he could learn 5 routes and a few blocking assignments and go out there and laugh at linebackers trying to cover him. In baseball he’ll be a promotional stunt.

  4. genericcommenter - Feb 4, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    BALLS, not calls.

    • gerryb323 - Feb 5, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      Yes, but how does he react to BATS coming at him? Throws them right back at the batter, hopefully!

  5. bpacha77511 - Feb 5, 2014 at 1:56 AM

    @jm91…. I live very close to sugarland and houston. This story has been talked about a lot on the sports talk stations. I do not know how they know but they say tmac isn’t learning a brand new sport. They say he played baseball in high school and was really good. He also hung out at the big juicebox here when he played for houston and took in batting practice. The other thing ,and again I have no idea who their source is, they are saying is that he’s got a little heat on his pitches. He is reportedly throwing up to 91 mph on a regular basis at clemens house. I don’t know if its true but this is what sportsradio 610 is saying here in houston.

  6. louhudson23 - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:48 AM

    He was a very good baseball player in High School and can apparently bring it. Other than his age,he has all the attributes of a prospect.Good luck to him….

  7. georgewashingtonsghost - Feb 5, 2014 at 7:35 AM

    I hope he makes the team. This is a great story and I wish him the best of luck. He’s living the dream for many 30+ year olds. Who of us hasn’t dreamed of quiting our job and going to play baseball for a living? I’ll definately be in the stands when the Skeeters come to town to play the Blue Crabs this season.

  8. gbories2014 - Feb 5, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    A reblogué ceci sur dnslookupfr.

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