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Tracy McGrady makes Sugar Land Skeeters as pitcher

By Mike Singer | CBSSports.com

Former NBA star-turned-pitcher Tracy McGrady has made the Sugar Land Skeeters' roster, manager Gary Gaetti told Fox 26 in Houston on Wednesday.

“He's just done what needed to be done since the idea came about,” Gaetti said. "He showed enough progress. He showed enough ability, and we're going to see where this goes."

The 6-foot-8, seven-time NBA All-Star seemed thrilled, even if the last time McGrady played organized baseball was when he a Florida high schooler.

“To be part of the team means everything to me, and it's a dream come true. I look forward to coming to the ballpark, not only to play the game but to be in the clubhouse building camaraderie with these guys.”

In his first exhibition game, McGrady gave up one run and three hits in one inning of work against Alvin Community College.

"There's so many unique things about it,” Gaetti said. “It doesn't matter how hard you throw. You got deception. You got velocity. You got location. You got stuff."

The Skeeters' brass has de-emphasized the importance of how hard McGrady throws (not wanting him to injure himself or concern himself with MPH) but evidently, the 34-year-old former NBA star has enough gas left even after a decorated 16-year NBA career.

"I had to ride it out,” Gaetti said of the decision to add McGrady to the squad. “There was no reason to make that decision until I absolutely had to."

He did concede that the appeal of McGrady (and the potential for increased interest in the team) might have played a minor role.

"We kind of all knew that there was a pretty good possibility that he was going to make the team."

The Skeeters' Opening Day will be April 24th against the Lancaster Barnstormers, who could (approximately, of course) be described as the Los Angeles Lakers of the Atlantic League.

 
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