20 years ago today the sports world was flipped on its axis as the best basketball player in the history of the sports, Michael Jordan signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox.
20 years ago today, Michael Jordan signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox. » pic.twitter.com/BgJhF80EZF
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 7, 2014
Jordan retired from the NBA the previous fall after a third NBA title with the Chicago Bulls and the news of his father being murdered in a random act of violence.
“I chose to try to play baseball just to see if I could,” said Jordan. I’m not doing it as a distraction and I’m not doing it as a media hog or looking for the media exposure from it. It’s one of the wishes my father had and I had as a kid.”
The Chicago Bulls still paid Jordan the $4 million he would have received had he been playing basketball, but instead he was playing for Terry Francona and the Birmingham Barons, the White Sox AA affiliate.
BFFs Michael Jordan and Nomar Garciaparra hang out during their tenure in the Arizona Fall League: pic.twitter.com/sc8QNctwDX
— Andy Gray (@si_vault) February 7, 2014
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) February 7, 2014
— MLB Fan Cave (@MLBFanCave) February 7, 2014
One has to wonder if the Bulls could have won eight consecutive NBA championships had Jordan not retired, or if the stint playing baseball was what he needed to come back with a vengeance to win three more titles after he unretired for the first time.