Michael Jordan & Whether He Was Good Enough to Play Professional Baseball

Michael Jordan is widely known for his basketball skills, and even though he is a legend when it comes to the NBA, not many people remember his baseball sidequest that took place in 1994. His latest documentary series, The Last Dance, touched on this topic and it seems that MJ wouldn’t have been half-bad at the sport.

Michael Jordan on the field
Michael Jordan & Whether He Was Good Enough to Play Professional Baseball

Michael Jordan Had MLB Potential

His Double-A stats include a .202 batting average when he was a rookie playing at the Chicago White Sox organization for the Birmingham Barons at the age of 31. This didn’t really scream success.

However, Jerry Reinsdorf — the Chicago White Sox and Bulls owner — said that it’s quite remarkable Michael Jordan hit over a .200 to start with. The only reason why Jordan started in Double-A was that the Single-A ball couldn’t handle the large media circus that came with him.

Larry Jordan, MJ’s brother, said that Michael’s lifelong dream was to pursue baseball. After his father was murdered in 1993, MJ felt incredibly disconnected from basketball. The last conversation MJ had with his father was whether or not he should retire from basketball and play baseball. This was something that his father supported.

A Temporary Switch and Drive for Winning

Michael Jordan playing baseball
Michael Jordan & Whether He Was Good Enough to Play Professional Baseball 

Rumors began circling that MJ had left the NBA and switched over to baseball after being secretly suspended by commissioner David Stern. The suspension was for gambling.

In 1994, the MLB went on strike and Michael Jordan refused to play with replacement players, which ended his baseball career. He went back to the NBA, where he became hyper-focused on winning no matter what, which led to bullying and sometimes demeaning his fellow teammates.

Many of his teammates recall certain moments or altercations with MJ, showing his competitiveness and aggressive side. However, many also commemorate him for this, especially Steve Kerr — who mentioned that MJ never asked him to do something that he hadn’t done himself.