Former NBA scoring champion Tracy McGrady retired from baseball after he recorded his first professional strikeout with the Sugar Land Skeeters on July 17.
Tracy McGrady has retired from baseball.
CBS Houston's Brett Dolan reported on July 17 that McGrady, a pitcher for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, retired after recording his first professional strikeout:
"Former NBA star and Sugar Land Skeeters pitcher Tracy McGrady started the Atlantic League All-Star Game Wednesday at Constellation Field before retiring from baseball after pitching 1.1 innings.
"T-Mac struck out the last batter he faced, Atlantic League All-Star Bryan Pounds, before walking off the mound to the applause of his teammates. The strikeout was the first and only 'K' of McGrady's baseball career and he kept the baseball for his mantle.
"'That is definitely going in the trophy case,' he said from the dugout following his outing. 'I told some of the guys that I am going to get a strikeout before I stop playing. I got it in the second inning. Thank you Jesus.'
"McGrady started four regular season Atlantic League games pitching a total of 6.2 innings, allowing four hits and five runs. He allowed a run on one hit in the All-Star Game.
"'It has been a tremendous ride,' McGrady said. 'It is my last game today. I informed the team this would be my last outing and I appreciate them giving me this opportunity to start the game and enjoy this great mid-summers classic.
"'This has been an awesome year. Not having my basketball career end the way I wanted but having the opportunity to be friends with some of the guys and get to know them and compete with them, learn from them every day, it's been an honor.'
"T-Mac admitted that there were some emotions.
"'I got a little emotional coming off the mound. It feels good to be celebrated again.'
"McGrady also combined with Lamar Little Leaguer Will Dolan to win the Atlantic League Home Run Derby with six home runs. Dolan hit all six of the team's bombs.
"'I am the first Home Run Champion in history with no home runs,' he joked."
The final score in McGrady's final game as a baseball player was 5-3 in favor of Sugar Land, which beat the East Coast All-Stars, per the Skeeters' official website:
"The 2014 Atlantic League All-Star Game was kicked off with a Home Run Derby featuring Tracy McGrady of Sugar Land, Corey Smith of Somerset, Lew Ford of Long Island and Cole Garner of Lancaster. Each player was matched up with a local little-leaguer who competed in a home run derby of their own. Smith took home the Home Run Derby trophy after hitting five balls out of the park.
"The Skeeters eneded a hard-fought battle in the Atlantic League All-Star Game tonight on top with a 5-3 victory over the visiting East Coast Atlantic League All-Stars. The visitors collected three runs on five hits and two errors while the home team racked up five runs on eight hits and no errors. Nick Stavinoha was named the All-Star Game MVP after collecting two hits in his four at bats with two runners batted in.
"Tracy McGrady (1,1,1,1,1,1,1 ) made his fifth start of the season tonight for the Skeeters and pitched 1.1 innings and allowed one run on one hit and was able to collect his first strikeout of the season after sending Bryan Pounds back tot he dugout disappointed."
McGrady finished his baseball stint with a 6.75 ERA in four appearances ( 6 2/3 innings) on the mound, per ESPN.
He averaged 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game in 938 career regular-season games with the Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks, according to ESPN stats.