Why Did Michael Jordan Play Baseball? Michael Jordan stunned the world on October 6, 1994, when he announced his retirement from basketball at the height of his career to follow his goal of playing professional baseball.
It’s not every day that a 29-year-old with little injury history leaves their professional sport in their prime. So, what really made Michael Jordan switch to baseball?
Why Did Michael Jordan Play Baseball?
Michael Jordan’s father, James Jordan, had always hoped his son would succeed in baseball. Although Michael was talented in both sports as a child, basketball eventually took precedence. But his father’s unshakable passion had a lasting effect.
Michael was deeply shaken by the vicious murder of James Jordan in 1993. Basketball felt abruptly tarnished, devastated, and disillusioned.
He saw baseball as a possible release and a means of regaining his lost joy, as the game was linked to many of his most treasured memories of his father.
Moreover, although he became an immortal basketball player, Jordan enjoyed competition. Baseball offered a new challenge, a chance to establish himself once more.
His tenacious work ethic demonstrated his unwavering quest for excellence in strenuous training sessions and minor league games.
Jordan was the most marketable person ever. Even though it was unexpected, his baseball career attracted a lot of media attention and improved the minor leagues’ financial situation.
Some claim the relocation was mainly a publicity stunt, but Jordan’s unwavering commitment raises doubts.
How was Jordan’s Relationship with His Father?
Jordan’s connection with his father, James Jordan, was as close as they could get. You’ll most likely recognize Jordan’s tongue-twisting antics as he drove to the basket, but you might not realize that he learned them from James.
During an episode of The Last Dance, James Jordan expressed solidarity and support for his son, referring to him as “my rock”.
His father was there to give him advice when he needed it, to pull him back on track when he appeared to be heading in the wrong direction, and to cheer him on from the stands for all of his great basketball accomplishments, including his three-peat in 1991-1993.
Jordan’s father encouraged him to play baseball as a child, and it was his desire for his son that, despite his NBA success, he would one day follow that sport.
However, in 1993, James Jordan was brutally murdered. Jordan lost his father, best friend, and main support network, as well as what appears to be his love of basketball.
Despite not having a groundbreaking or record-breaking baseball career, Michael Jordan made an indelible mark on the sport.
He demonstrated to others that dedication and a passion for the game can overcome any misgivings; and that it is never too late to pursue a dream.