On October 6, 1993, Michael Jordan made an announcement saying he was no longer interested in playing basketball. He wanted to play professional baseball.
Before he made the decision to leave basketball, the National Basketball Association launched an investigation of Jordan and his off the court gambling. The league closed its investigation three days later. He had also been coping with the loss of his father 62 days before the announcement. When asked what he wanted to do next by Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, Jordan replied, “I want to play baseball. It’s my father’s dream that I become a baseball player.”
Reinsdorf was also the chairman of the Chicago White Sox and helped Jordan sign with an affiliated team, the Birmingham Barons. Jordan’s two seasons in baseball did not go as planned to say the least. Out of his 436 at bats in the 1994 season, he only scored 46 runs and had 88 hits. Needless to say, there was hardly anything truly ‘special’ about Jordan as a baseball player. The only exceptions were the three home runs he managed to crank out and maybe his 30 stolen bases.
In March of ’95 Jordan said, “I’m back.” He was coming back to basketball. He would go back to the number 23 in ’96, and drop his baseball number, 45. The Hall of Famer stayed with Chicago for four seasons, retired for three, and went to the Washington Wizards for two before he hung his jersey up for good.
“Everybody has talent, but ability takes hard work.” -Michael Jordan
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