Tracy McGrady is a seven-time NBA All Star, two-time league scoring champion and two-time All-NBA first-team honoree. But now he can officially say he is a two-sport athlete.
McGrady made his pitching debut Saturday for the Sugar Land Skeeters, an independent league team based in Texas.
The 34-year-old righty went 1 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on two hits and two walks. That's not especially good, but he was pitching in a very competitive league. The Skeeters play in the Atlantic League, which is on par with Double-A or Triple-A level. Most of the players washed out of the majors or minors and are looking to grab on to a major league club sometime this season.
Edwin Maysonet, who hit a homer off McGrady in the second, played 76 games for the Astros in 2008 and 2009 and batted .250. He played 506 games at Triple-A, most recently in 2013 with the Iowa Cubs, and hit .256 with a .320 on-base percentage.
So it may have been a little bit of a PR opportunity for the Skeeters — who also hosted Roger Clemens for a brief comeback in 2012 — but he wasn't pitching against amateurs in a beer league.
McGrady is 6-foot-8, by the way, which is tall for a pitcher, but not extremely so. Jon Rauch (6-foot-11) is the tallest pitcher in MLB history, but veteran pitchers Chris Young (6-foot-10), Randy Johnson (6-foot-10) and Kameron Loe (6-foot-9) are all taller. And the Yankees currently have two pitchers — CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda — who are 6-foot-7.
McGrady graded himself a "B-minus" after taking the loss in his debut. Who knows if he'll stick around, but he did not embarrass himself out there.
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