Tracy McGrady, baseball pitcher? It’s not as crazy as you might think. The former Orlando Magic guard has been training for months to become a professional baseball player.
He was outed by his former Houston Rockets coach, Jeff Van Gundy. During ESPN’s Friday night broadcast of the Oklahoma City Thunder-Brooklyn Nets, McGrady’s name came up as a comparison for Kevin Durant. “Speaking real quickly of McGrady,” Van Gundy said, “I think he’s going to play independent league baseball as a pitcher this year. In the independent league.”
Play-by-play announcer Mike Breen was as shocked as we are. He thought it was a joke. “I’m being serious.” Van Gundy said, “I’ve heard from sources in Houston — seriously — that he’s throwing over 90 miles per hour. The Sugar Land Skeeters — Roger Clemens pitched for them last year, it was awesome.”
The Roger Clemens connection is important. Apparently that’s who McGrady’s been training with. He works out 2-3 times a week and throws a 92-mph fastball. But that’s not all he’s got in his arsenal. In a 2006 interview, McGrady expressed his desire to pitch saying, “I got a knuckleball, slider, changeup, curve and whatever.”
The prospect of Tracy McGrady pitching is not so crazy if you know McGrady. He calls baseball his “first love.” He always said that he would play baseball at the end of his basketball career.
Roger Clemens doesn’t pitch for the Skeeters anymore, but his son is a catcher on the team. According to Larry Brown Sports, “The Skeeters have a slew of former major leaguers on the team, such as Jason Lane, Gary Majewski, Ryan Langerhans, David Pauley and Clay Hensley, so being able to compete at that level is no joke.”
What do you think? Is Tracy McGrady Baseball Pitcher the craziest thing you’ve ever heard? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Want more Orlando Magic news? Sign up for our newsletter!