“What Baseball Team Did Michael Jordan Play For?”: A Look Into the Bulls Legend’s Decision That Served as a Turning Point in American Sports History

Arjun Julka
|Published 15/10/2022

A walk down memory lane of Bulls legend Michael Jordan’s decision to retire from the NBA and fulfill his late father, James Jordan’s dream of playing baseball. 

6th October 1993, a date etched in the history books of the NBA, when Michael Jordan announced his decision to retire from the hardwood. A dark day for the hoop fans in Chicago, given the Bulls were coming off a 3-peat, having established themselves as a solid dynasty.

Winning his 3rd consecutive Finals MVP, MJ stated that he had lost the desire to play ball, later admitting that the tragic murder of his father played a crucial role in this decision. On 7th February 1994, Jordan surprised the world by signing an MLB contract with the Chicago White Sox.

Ironically both the White Sox and Bulls were owned by billionaire Jerry Reinsdorf.

The ten-time scoring champion revealed how it was his father’s dream to see him play in the MLB. Nonetheless, Jordan’s loyalties continued to remain toward the city of Chicago playing the outfielder position for the Birmingham Barons, a Double-A minor league affiliate of the White Sox.

Also read: “Michael Jordan was better at baseball than basketball coming out of college”: When Bulls legend’s UNC teammate, James Worthy, broke down several aspects about Jordan

Unfortunately, MJ failed to emulate his hardwood success on the diamond.

Michael Jordan’s Baseball Stats.

According to The Sporting News,

Jordan played 127 regular-season games for the Birmingham Barons, the White Sox’s Double-A affiliate, in 1994. Here are the basics:

  • 127 games, 497 plate appearances, 436 at-bats
  • .202/.289/.266 (average/on-base/slugging), .556 OPS
  • 88 hits: 17 doubles, 1 triple, 3 homers
  • 51 RBIs, 46 runs scored
  • 30 stolen bases/18 caught stealing
  • 51 walks, 114 strikeouts

“I’m back”: Michael Jordan’s return to the NBA.

His Airness’ love for the game of basketball couldn’t keep him far for too long, returning after a one-and-a-half-year hiatus. At the time, reports suggested, MJ feared being a replacement player during the MLB strike. Nevertheless, the Black Jesus was back where he belonged.

Returning towards the flag end of the 1994-95 season, MJ, who looked to get off the rust, failed to get the job done, with the Bulls being ousted in the semi-finals against the Magic. More hungry than ever, Jordan would spend hours in the gym that off-season, creating history in the following years.

The Bulls would go on to 3-peat again from 1996-98, with MJ being the Finals MVP each time. In what many believe, the 1995-96 season being the highlight of the Chicago team’s dynastic run, given the 72-10 record, with Jordan restoring his position on top of the NBA heap earning a league, All-Star, and Finals MVP.

Also read: “I never chased that dream of becoming a professional basketball player”: When Michael Jordan confessed to baseball being his first love

 


About the author
Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka is a NBA author at The SportsRush. Basketball isn’t just a sport for this 26-year-old, who hails from Mumbai. He began watching the sport after stumbling upon a court in his society, helping him identify an undiscovered passion for the game of hoops. Now an ardent fan, Arjun supports Stephen Curry and the Warriors but also enjoys watching Giannis Antetokounmpo own the paint. When it comes to the GOAT debate, the TSR author feels LeBron James is yet to receive a lot of his due but cannot deny marveling at Michael Jordan’s resume.

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