Yes, you read that right. Michael Jordan played baseball.
In honor of the Jordan documentary series premiering last week, The Last Dance, I’ve decided to analyze and dissect his baseball career. Although it didn’t last long, there were still many memorable moments as he played the sport professionally.
In his short one year stint with baseball, he was an active player for the Birmingham Barons, a Double A team in the Chicago White Sox organization.
Jordan played the Outfield for the Barons. He was utilized as a dynamic fielder that could play all three positions; right, center and left.
Offensively, he slashed a .202 Batting Average, .289 On Base Percentage and a .266 Slugging Percentage. The 6’6 slugger knocked 88 Hits and 51 Runs Batted In within 497 Plate appearances. In just 127 games played, Jordan smashed a total of three home runs. On paper, these stats are not eye popping stats, but after all, it is Michael Jordan.
Let’s take a look at the transcript of the Birmingham Barons play-by-play announcer, Curt Bloom on one of Jordan’s homeruns.
“He has made it very exciting tonight. With the Barons leading 5-1, Jordan steps in for the fourth time … two of his three at-bats were near homers … he skied deep to left center when he hit the ball to the wall in the fourth, and then in the sixth, Jordan pulled the ball a little bit more and missed by 2 feet … Fly ball deep to left again, Ratliff going back, back to the warning track, looking up … IT IS GON-ZO JORDAN! He’s done it!”
Although his time in baseball wasn’t the strongest, it’s still very impressive. Not only for his on field results but just the mere fact that someone so dominant in one sport had the guts to put down the big orange ball and give the little white leather one a shot. I’m not surprised as Jordan was always known as a player that took nothing for granted.
In spite of his heavenly talent, he always worked harder than anyone else. That same mentality drove him to believe that if he worked hard enough he would excel at baseball too.
Hats off to the tremendous athletic feat that Jordan pulled off and demonstrating not only unsurpassed athletic skills but also a human character to be admire for the ages.
Now, let’s just sit back and relax and enjoy The Last Dance.
Photo: Mark Elias/AP; Val Mazzenga/Chicago Tribune