Michael Jordan took a brief break from winning championships on the basketball court and tried to make something of himself on the baseball field.
Jordan’s attempt at a baseball career with the Double-A Birmingham Barons was one of the “greatest accomplishments” of his career, baseball great Alex Rodriguez told Sports Illustrated.
“I thought that what he tried to do in baseball is one of the greatest accomplishments in his career,” the former New York Yankees star said. “He’s getting on a bus and playing Double-A. That’s one of the hardest leagues to play in because that’s where all the great pitching goes, the fire ballers throwing north of 95 miles an hour. The weather was north of 95 degrees, and you’re on buses, not on planes.
“Unfortunately, the benchmark as a great, Hall-of-Fame hitter is .300. Because you’re Michael Jordan, you’re going to be judged on a completely unfair barometer. For him to have a hitting streak, to hit north of .200, and to steal so many bases, I just thought it was remarkable.”
Jordan got 436 at-bats with the Barons in 1994. In his only season, he hit three home runs and batted .202 with a .556 OPS. He also had 51 RBI and 17 doubles.
Jordan never got a chance to make the major leagues through the minor league system. He played alongside future major leaguers Steve Sax and Dan Pasqua, among others.