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Michael Jordan is widely considered the greatest basketball player of all time. Thus, his decision to retire at the top of his game and play baseball instead shocked the entire sports world. Fans will always remember Jordan for his great NBA career with the Chicago Bulls, but which baseball team did he play for?
Michael Jordan played baseball for the Birmingham Barons, the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. He also played for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League.
Jordan’s baseball career lasted only one year. He played for the Barons in the 1994 regular season and the Scorpions in the 1994 offseason. In 1995, he returned to the NBA and rejoined the Bulls.
Why Did Michael Jordan Play for the Chicago White Sox?
The Birmingham Barons are a minor league team affiliated with the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball. When Michael Jordan signed a minor league contract with the White Sox, he was assigned to the Barons, although he hoped to earn a promotion to the big league club.
Nearly every baseball player starts his career in the minor leagues before being called to the majors. Although Jordan was one of the most famous athletes in the world, he too had to begin in the minors.
Jordan signed with the White Sox in particular because their owner, Jerry Reinsdorf, also owned the Chicago Bulls. Reinsdorf continued to pay Jordan his NBA salary while he played baseball. Minor league baseball players make very low salaries, but Jordan was making millions on his NBA contract.
Why Did Michael Jordan Play for the Scottsdale Scorpions?
The Scottsdale Scorpions play in the Arizona Fall League (AFL). The AFL is a league MLB operates in the offseason for prospects and minor league players who want to get more practice after the regular season ends.
Jordan played for the Scorpions to continue working on his baseball skills. At 31, he was older than most minor league players, so he was looking for another way to get ahead of the competition. As it turns out, however, the Scorpions would be the last baseball team for which he ever played.
What Teams Was Michael Jordan On in High School?
Michael Jordan was a three-sport athlete in high school, playing basketball, baseball, and football. Unsurprisingly, he had the most success on the basketball team.
He was a pitcher on his high school baseball team, and there is a story that he once pitched 45 consecutive scoreless innings. However, this fact still needs to be verified. Furthermore, some sources claim Jordan received scholarship offers for baseball, while others dispute this claim.
Regardless of all the rumors, one thing is clear: Jordan was a talented ballplayer growing up. He tapped into that talent many years later when he joined the Birmingham Barons.
How Good Was Michael Jordan at Baseball?
We all know how great Michael Jordan was on the basketball court, but it’s fair to wonder if Jordan was any good at baseball.
In one season at Double-A, Michael Jordan hit .202 with a .556 OPS and three home runs. He stole 30 bases and was caught stealing 18 times. Those are not particularly impressive stats, but Jordan did improve at the plate as the year went on. Talent evaluators thought he could one day be a capable outfield defender and bench bat.
He did not look like a star, but many thought Jordan had the skills to make the major leagues eventually. Ultimately, however, he did not play baseball long enough for anyone to know how good he could have been.
Was Michael Jordan Actually Suspended From the NBA?
Although it has never been confirmed, there is a rumor that Michael Jordan’s first retirement from the NBA was actually an under-the-table suspension. In 1993, the NBA began an investigation into Jordan’s secret gambling, and shortly after that, he announced he was retiring to play professional baseball.
Over the years, many have speculated that Jordan and the Bulls feigned his retirement in order to save face. According to this theory, Jordan only played baseball to distract from the controversy of his gambling problem. However, these are merely unsubstantiated rumors.
Why Did Michael Jordan Quit Baseball?
Michael Jordan retired from baseball ahead of the 1995 season. Major League Baseball players went on strike in August 1994, and Jordan, as a minor league player, did not want to be called up to the majors as a strikebreaker.
In addition, Jordan struggled to hit during his one season at Double-A. Although he showed signs of improvement throughout the year, it was apparent to those around him that he felt discouraged. He may have relished the chance to return to the top of the basketball world.
Finally, his old basketball team was struggling without him. Perhaps he felt it was important to honor his commitment to the Bulls. After he returned, they went on to win three more championships.
How Many Times Did Michael Jordan Retire?
Michael Jordan retired from professional basketball three times. The first time was in 1993, when he left for MLB. He was exhausted by basketball and his ever-growing fame. He was also mourning the loss of his father, who had always wanted him to play baseball.
Jordan retired for the second time in 1999 and eventually took on a front-office role with the Washington Wizards. In 2001, he returned to the court to play for the Wizards. Then, in 2003, he retired for the third and final time.
What Basketball Team Was Michael Jordan On?
Michael Jordan made a name for himself with the Chicago Bulls, with whom he won six NBA titles and five MVP Awards. He played in Chicago from 1984 to 1993 and again from 1995 to 1998. He returned to the NBA again in 2001 and played two seasons with the Washington Wizards.
What Other Teams Has Michael Jordan Played For?
In addition to his time in the NBA and MiLB, Michael Jordan has played for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels basketball team and the United States national basketball team. He won an NCAA championship with North Carolina in 1982 and two Olympic gold medals in 1984 and 1992.
Today, he is retired from professional sports today, but he owns the Charlotte Hornets NBA team and the 23XI Racing organization in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Did Michael Jordan Play on the Dream Team?
In 1992, Michael Jordan suited up for the United States men’s national basketball team at the Summer Olympics. It was the first US Olympic team to feature active NBA players and is often considered one of the greatest basketball teams of all time. Thus, the squad earned the nickname the “Dream Team.”
In addition to Jordan, other members of the Dream Team included Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, and Charles Barkley.
What Other NBA Players Played Baseball?
While Michael Jordan never made it to the major leagues, several athletes have played in both the NBA and MLB. The most recent was Mark Hendrickson, who played four seasons of professional basketball before he joined the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball.
The most successful NBA player to also play in MLB was Dave Debusschere, who played for the Chicago White Sox – just like Michael Jordan. He played one season with the White Sox before retiring from baseball to focus on basketball full-time. He was an eight-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA Champion, and he was elected to the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983.
The complete list of men to play in both the NBA and MLB is full of talented athletes: Mark Hendrickson, Danny Ainge, Ron Reed, Steve Hamilton, Dave Debusscher, Cotton Nash, Dick Groat, Dick Ricketts, Frank Baumholtz, Gene Conley, Hank Biasatti, Chuck Connors, and Howie Schultz. Connors is the only player to have won a championship in both leagues.
Did Michael Jordan Ever Hit a Home Run?
Michael Jordan hit three home runs during his professional baseball career. He hit his first home run in July 1994 off of a pitcher named Kevin Rychel.
All in all, Jordan had 88 hits with the Birmingham Barons, including 17 doubles and one triple. He scored 46 runs and had 51 runs batted in.
Why Was Michael Jordan Insulted by Sports illustrated?
In 1994, the popular magazine Sports Illustrated published an issue with Jordan on the cover. In the picture, he was swinging and missing at a pitch. The headline read: “Bag it, Michael! Jordan and The White Sox Are Embarrassing Baseball.”
Jordan was offended by the headline and the accompanying article, which made light of his baseball career and insulted his integrity as an athlete. He stopped doing interviews with Sports Illustrated from that point on.
The author of the article has since admitted he was wrong. He watched Jordan play during the 1994 season and realized how much he had improved as a ballplayer in such a short time. The writer tried to publish an article acknowledging his mistake, but Sports Illustrated wasn’t interested in taking back their words.