Michael Jordan (February 17, 1963) was a legend of the Chicago bulls of the nba. An athletic phenomenon who could shine in any sport as he did in high school playing basketball, baseball and football. Now, 60 years after his birth, we will remember his career as a professional baseball player.
After saying goodbye to basketball temporarily after beating the Phoenix Suns in the 1993 NBA Finals and the death of his father, Jordan played in 127 games with the Birmingham Barons, Chicago White Sox minor league team. The ninth was a Double-A category and played in the Southern League.
During his stay as a minor league outfielder with the number 45, MJ posted averages of .202/.290/.266/ after connecting 88 hits, driving in 51 runs and hitting three home runs in 436 at bats with 114 strikeouts against. Jordan always tried to steal the bases when he could and he did it 30 timesbut was eliminated in 18 tries.
The basketball player stated that he pursued his dream of playing baseball professionally due to the influence of his father, James, During his childhood. Even his brother Larry considered that he would be a member of the Major Leagues instead of belonging to the select group of NBA players.
terry franconacurrent manager for the Cleveland Guardians, was his manager with the Barons when Jordan played with them and He considered that the six-time NBA champion had enough talent to be a major leaguer, but time did not reach him. According to Mike Barnett, the Barons’ hitting coach, the White Sox’s outfield career began with a 13-game hitting streak.
“In my opinion, with 1,500 at-bats, he could have found a way to make it to the big leagues”, assured the 63-year-old helmsman in the seventh episode of the documentary series The Last Dance. “He drove in 50 runs, and we had prospects who had been playing their whole lives and weren’t that good.”
Despite changing sports, Jerry Reinsdorfowner of the Bulls and White Sox, he went on paying Jordan’s salary like he was a basketball player. According to him, it was approximately three million dollars.
During the 1994 Arizona Fall League, the Basketball Hall of Famer played for the Scottsdale Scorpions. and posted a .252 average against top prospects.
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Michael Jordan’s relevant teammates on the diamond
During his tenure with the White Sox chapters, Jordan shared the diamond with many players and the most prominent were infielder Steve Sax, pitcher Atlee Hammaker and reliever Al Levine.
Sax was the most decorated player Jordan met, despite the fact that it was in the twilight of his major league career. The infielder was the 1982 NL Rookie of the Year and won the 1981 and 1988 World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His tenure at the Barons was short as he lasted only seven games.
Hammaker’s best stage was before meeting Jordan in Birmingham. In the 1983 Major League Baseball season he was invited to the All-Star Game and won the ERA title. When he coincided with the ‘GOAT’ he pitched 18 complete innings and posted a 5.50 ERA after allowing four runs and striking out 17 of the 80 batters he faced.
Levine was a 26-year-old starter who pitched 18 games with the Barons and had a 5-9 record. In addition, that season he posted a 3.31 ERA after pitching 114.1 innings, striking out 94 and allowing 117 hits with 42 runs. In the Major Leagues he appeared in 416 games in all the roles available to a pitcher.