Tracy McGrady did it.
The former NBA player has made the opening day roster of the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, according to ESPN.
Skeeters manager, Gary Gaetti, spoke with KRIV-TV on Wednesday.
“Tracy is on the team,” Gaetti told KRIV. “He’s just done what needed to be done since the idea came about. He showed enough progress. He showed enough ability and we’re going to see where this goes.”
The marketing team is obviously working at full steam with this. A former NBA All-Star is now on the starting roster. It’s a heck of a story, one that many may think is nonsense. I for one am all for this.
Independent baseball doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. It’s unaffiliated, and has no ties to Major League Baseball. However, every once in while, someone bridges that gap and makes a big league roster. In this instance, a high-quality athlete had a plan and put it into motion. The cross-promotion ideas are limitless.
Take Daniel Nava for example. Undrafted out of college, but could hit the heck out of the ball when he played. He took his talent from independent baseball to a World Series championship with the Boston Red Sox. McGrady won’t make and MLB rosters, but he’s an accomplished athlete that obviously has the talent to play a second sport.
McGrady can bring a different perspectvie to the Skeeters, and his comments reaffirm his passion and what it means to make the team.
“It’s an honor to be a part of this club for the 2014 season,” said McGrady. “To be a 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. I am excited to start the journey we’re going to take this season.”
I will go out on a limb and say that, yes this a marketing departments dream, but you couldn’t put just anyone on the mound to face professional hitters. If he throws strikes and strengthen his arm, 90-plus on the radar gun isn’t out of the question. If he can stay focused through the year, it could make for a very entertaining summer.