After announcing his retirement from the NBA in October of 1993, Jordan signed a minor league baseball contract with the Chicago White Sox in the January of 1994.
He spent Spring Training with the White Sox in February and March in Sarasota, and then was assigned to the Double-A Birmingham Barons to begin the season.
In 127 games of Southern League action, Jordan hit just .202 with three home runs, but he did collect 51 runs batted in and stole 30 bases, while also scoring 46 runs.
That fall, Jordan suited up for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League to continue working on his hitting — like many hitters, Jordan had particular trouble with curveballs.
Interestingly, Jordan had shown up in a White Sox uniform at least once before, when he took some cuts with the team in Spring Training of 1991. That brief marriage may have hinted at things to come and even yielded a Michael Jordan baseball rookie card, in the 1991 Upper Deck set:
A few more details about Jordan’s time in professional baseball …
Did Michael Jordan ever play Major League Baseball?
No, Jordan never appeared in a regular season MLB game. He did appear in games against other Major League clubs during Spring Training in 1994, however.
What minor league baseball team did Michael Jordan play for?
Jordan played for the Double-A Birmingham Barons during the 1994 season and for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League that autumn. He never played for any other professional baseball teams.
Why did Michael Jordan play baseball?
Jordan has said that he embarked on a baseball career to honor his father, James Jordan, who had always dreamed of seeing his son play Major League Baseball. James was murdered in a North Carolina rest area during the summer of 1993.
When did Michael Jordan play professional baseball?
The entirety of Jordan’s baseball career played out during 1994.
Jordan gave up his stint in the game during the spring of 1995, partially out of a concern that he would be pressured into MLB service as a replacement player during the player strike that ended the 1994 season early and wiped out the playoffs and World Series that fall.
Just days after he announced he was stepping away from baseball, Jordan announced his return to the NBA — the date was March 18, 1995, and His Airness took the court again for the first time against the Indiana Pacers the next day.
Jordan’s path back to the NBA was an easy one contractually as Jerry Reinsdorf owned both the White Sox and the Chicago Bulls and maintained Jordan’s basketball deal even while the star was flirting with the diamond.
It was a smart move on Reinsdorf’s part, of course, as Air Jordan led the Bulls to NBA titles from 1996 through 1998, matching the three-year run that led to titles from 1991 through 1993 before Jordan retired … the first time.
The next January, Jordan retired again.
After more than two seasons out of the game, though, Jordan came back one last time, signing with the Washington Wizards for the 2001 season. He’d stay in Washington until his final retirement in April of 2003.
Today, Jordan is the majority owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.