20 years ago, Michael Jordan made his White Sox debut
On March 4, 1994, Michael Jordan appeared in a game wearing a White Sox uniform for the first time. With No. 45 on his back, he tapped a comebacker to Rangers pitcher Darren Oliver, who tagged the NBA legend out unassisted. While MJ played with the big club during spring, he played the entire '94 season with the Double-A Birmingham Barons, never played in a regular season MLB game, and returned to dominating basketball the next year.
His baseball career may have been brief, but it's certainly stuck in the public memory. Here's a brief look back at his White Sox days on the 20th anniversary of his first appearance:
MJ's association with the White Sox started before '94: He took BP with the team before they'd adopted their silver and black color scheme. It helped that Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf also owned the Sox (and still does today).
Joining the White Sox at Spring Training in Florida became a huge media event ...
And fans clamored to get a glimpse of the NBA legend:
Jordan got to work learning the finer points of bunting ...
And defense, even sans hat:
He even got a chance to play an exhibition game at Wrigley Field:
And though his baseball career may have ended quickly, his statue outside the United Center is still a fan:
But of course, based on his less-than-great first pitches for both the White Sox: