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Throwback Photo of the Day: Fans scramble to see Michael Jordan, White Sox outfielder

Fifty-three years ago today, Michael Jordan was born. And in recognition of his birthday, we, being a baseball blog, wanted to remember his career with the White Sox on the baseball diamond -- which started right around his birthday in 1994 down at Spring Training. Feb. 15 was the exact date, and, as you can see from the above photo, the crowds were beside themselves trying to get a peek of His Airness. From The New York Times:

"Participating in his first official on-field workout, Jordan batted, fielded and ran the bases during a two-and-a-half-hour drill at the White Sox spring training complex. He basked in the sun and his own fame before a rapt audience of fans, watching from behind the left-field fence, as well as 250 members of the news media, including reporters from England, France and Japan ... Jordan also flashed his patented smile as he visited the warning track, if not with batted ball, then with his person. There he acknowledged the dozens of fans lying prone on the ground behind the left-field fence to view the closed workout from underneath the huge billboards."

Even when Jordan was facing away from the crowds, he was hardly unrecognizable.


As you probably know, MJ was sent to Double-A Birmingham out of Spring Training where he hit .202 with 51 RBIs, 30 steals and three home runs. He then returned to basketball and won three more NBA championships. Still, we (and Terry Francona) have to wonder, what if he stuck with baseball for another year or two? Would he have ever developed the skills to play alongside Frank Thomas, Harold Baines and Magglio Ordonez on the big club?