What MLB Team did Michael Jordan Play For after his Retirement from Basketball?

Published 12/15/2021, 9:35 AM EST
CHICAGO, IL – FEBRUARY 7: American basketball star Michael Jordan takes batting practice 07 February 1994 with the Chicago White Sox in a bid to play with their baseball team. (Photo credit should read EUGENE GARCIA/AFP via Getty Images)


Michael Jordan is for many, still undoubtedly the GOAT of Basketball. But he also briefly flirted with baseball, in the middle of his domination in the NBA. When MJ first announced his retirement from basketball on 6th October, 1993 nobody expected him to switch sports. On 7th February 1994, Jordan announced that he was going to spring training with the White Sox. However, Jordan started out playing at the Double A Level for the Birmingham Barons.

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Michael Jordan after completing spring training with the Chicago White Sox, on 31st March, 1994, joined the Birmingham Barons at the Double A Level. Critics and commentators were quick to conclude that this would be far beyond anything he would ever be able to do in his first year. And Michael took that personally.

Michael Jordan playing baseball for the Birmingham Barrons in the Arizona Fall League, early 1994 (Photo by Scott Clarke/WireImage)

Although he only had a few at bats by that point, Curt Blooms, the official announcer for the Barons, has said, “I swear, he was going to the majors.” He managed to get in 5 practices a day, once before breakfast, once during regular batting practice, soft toss,  game batting practice, and then once even after the game. The work ethic was never something people could doubt about Michael Jordan.

Even the Barons’ batting coach during the 1994 season, Mike Barnett, said

“Look at his 51 RBIs — he was never overwhelmed by the moment. He could fly — look at the 30 stolen bases. He hadn’t played since high school, and he was holding his own in Double-A, which is filled with prospects. By August, those routine fly balls in BP were starting to go out. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen something as beautiful on a baseball field as the time Michael Jordan hit the ball into the gap and raced around to third for a triple. Two more seasons, he would’ve been a legitimate extra outfielder for the White Sox, maybe even a starter.”

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Micheal Jordan as an MLB Star

The Black Cat got two hits against Knoxville only in his in his third game after having gone hitless in his first two. By the end of the opening six-game home-stand, he was batting .250.

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Teams in Double A baseball tended to travel by coach. A stark difference to what Michael must have been used to in the NBA. Even so, he upgraded the team’s transport bus (something his teammates still thank him for).  And after that change, Michael had a hot streak. He had consecutive hits in 13 games at an average of 0.327!!! However, as time went on, and the pitchers got more and more used to Michael, they started pitching breaking balls and he struck out a lot more.

Jordan did have a superstar moment, with one look at the big leagues in the April 7 Windy City Classic between the White Sox and the Cubs at Wrigley Field. A game in which Jordan, playing right field, had a solid performance. Although the game ended in a  10 inning 4-4 tie, Michael Jordan playing baseball is an image that will stay with the Chicago faithful for a long long time.

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Aditya Deshingkar

140 articles

Aditya Deshingkar is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. An aspiring lawyer, Aditya is a final year student of the law program at GLC. Notably, as an avid sports lover, he shares a keen interest in NBA, MLB, and Formula 1.

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