This Day in Baseball History: March 10th, 1995

Well, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Jordan was embarassing baseball. There have been worse prospects, and he could potentially have been a cash cow for a while. Still, he did need to “bag it”.

On March 10, 1995:

Michael Jordan retires from baseball.

Early in 1993, Michael Jordan’s father was murdered at a rest stop area. His death caused the younger Jordan to rethink his life and career choices. Always an admirer of his father, Michael decided to follow his father’s wish for his son and tried to play baseball. He signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox, a team also owned by Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, and after reporting to Spring Training, he was sent to the Birmingham Barons, the White Sox AA team.

Jordan’s career as a baseball player was … not as good as his basketball career. I think the phrase is “Don’t quit your day job”. His stats for the 1994 season were:

  G    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB   SO    BA   OBP   SLG   OPS   SB   CS  SB%
127 436 46 88 17 1 3 51 51 114 .202 .285 .266 .551 30 18 63%

He played the outfield and made 11 errors, so he wasn’t even a good defensive player. What made Jordan think this would work out is beyond me. He was 31, hadn’t played baseball in who knows how long, and was past his prime in baseball years. However, try reasoning with highly competitive people about what they can and cannot do. After the season, he played in the Arizona Fall League with the Scottsdale Scorpions, and hit a decent .251.

Even though by any standard he was a bad player, he quit baseball for a different reason. The strike was still on in the MLB, and as a potential AAA player during the 1995 season, he could have been used as a replacement player. Unwilling to make it to the majors in such a manner, Jordan quit. Instead, he joined the Bulls with 17 games left in the 1994-1995 season, but he really wasn’t in basketball shape.

I just realized that I could copy and paste without too much trouble from Baseball-Reference, so I think I’ll do that for the career numbers for the mini-bios. Unless there are major concerns, which I doubt, I’ll start doing that for the mini-bios.


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