25 Years Ago, Michael Jordan Embarked on His Baseball Career - NBC Chicago
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25 Years Ago, Michael Jordan Embarked on His Baseball Career

Jordan reported to White Sox spring training in Sarasota to pursue his baseball dreams

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    NEWSLETTERS

    25 Years Ago, Michael Jordan Embarked on His Baseball Career
    Getty Images
    7 Feb 1994: CHICAGO WHITE SOX OUTFIELDER MICHAEL JORDAN SPEAKS AT A WHITE SOX PRESS CONFERENCE.

    What to Know

    • Michael Jordan retired from basketball in Oct. 1993, and launched his baseball career several months later in Florida

    • Jordan wanted to get into baseball to fulfill a promise he made to his father James Jordan, who was murdered in 1993

    • Jordan ultimately made it to the Double-A Birmingham Barons, but never reached the big leagues before returning to the NBA

    Basketball legend Michael Jordan shocked the world when he gave up the sport to pursue a career in baseball, and while some may have dismissed the possibility, he showed up in Florida at Chicago White Sox spring training in February of 1994. 

    2/15/94: Michael Jordan Reports to Florida

    It may have seemed like fantasy, but on this date Michael Jordan’s baseball dreams were played out in living color, as he took the field at the White Sox complex in Sarasota, Florida for his first workout with the club.

    Michael Jordan Reports to SarasotaMichael Jordan Reports to Sarasota

    Michael Jordan's baseball dreams officially kicked off on this date 25 years ago, as he reported to White Sox spring training in Sarasota, Florida. 

    (Published Friday, Feb. 15, 2019)

    In an interview before a grandstand packed with media, Jordan said that he refused to be a “sideshow” and that he was willing to ride the buses in the minor leagues, so long as they were “luxury buses.”

    2/16/94: Fans Offer Predictions on Jordan’s Baseball Future

    The question on everyone’s mind was a simple one: can MJ become a pro baseball player? His fans and even fortune-tellers were widely divided on the issue, as our Mark Suppelsa found out.

    Fans, Fortune-Tellers Try to Figure Out Jordan's FutureFans, Fortune-Tellers Try to Figure Out Jordan's Future

    Mark Suppelsa stepped away from the White Sox spring training complex to ask fans, and yes, fortune-tellers, what they thought Michael Jordan's chances were of having a successful baseball career. 

    (Published Friday, Feb. 15, 2019)

    Michael Jordan was ALWAYS the center of attention in camp, as Mark Giangreco discovered when he stopped to sign autographs.

    Michael Jordan Steals Show in SarasotaMichael Jordan Steals Show in Sarasota

    Michael Jordan was ALWAYS the center of attention in camp, as Mark Giangreco discovered when he stopped to sign autographs.

    (Published Friday, Feb. 15, 2019)

    2/17/94: Michael Jordan Serenaded for His Birthday

    Michael Jordan spent his 31st birthday at spring training with the White Sox, but fans made sure to pay tribute to him, and Mark Giangreco was there.

    Fans Help Michael Jordan celebrate His BirthdayFans Help Michael Jordan celebrate His Birthday

    Michael Jordan spent his 31st birthday trying to make the White Sox roster, and fans made sure to serenade him with a rendition of "Happy Birthday" in Florida. 

    (Published Friday, Feb. 15, 2019)

    Despite all the hoopla of his first public practice, which packed the Sarasota home of the White Sox, Jordan described himself as a “rookie,” and that he didn’t want to take any shortcuts to MLB stardom.

    Michael Jordan Considers Himself a 'Rookie'Michael Jordan Considers Himself a 'Rookie'

    Despite his status as a legendary athlete, Michael Jordan made sure to emphasize that he was a "rookie" when he reported to spring training. 

    (Published Friday, Feb. 15, 2019)

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