“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
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.
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.
It’s been 26 years since Michael Jordan used two words to announce his NBA return 👏 pic.twitter.com/dDYKRDHpiP
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) March 18, 2021
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.