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