Michael Jordan was arguably the best player in the history of basketball, and also an overall great athlete. You could spend all night coming up with athletic feats that he’d probably be pretty good at doing without any structured teaching or practice. Compared to the general population, that list would include include baseball. But compared to the comparatively much smaller population of professional baseball players, Jordan couldn’t cut it.
Jordan played in the minor leagues with the White Sox at Double-A Birmingham. In 127 games, he stepped to the plate 497 times and hit a paltry .202/.289/.266 with three home runs, 51 RBI, 46 runs scored, and 30 stolen bases in 48 attempts.
MLB.com recently posted a video in which they recall Jordan’s attempt to play professional baseball, including an exhibition game against the Cubs. The video features interviews with various personalities, including current White Sox manager Robin Ventura and broadcaster Steve Stone.
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Jordan’s struggles in the minor leagues is a testament to just how specifically skilled one needs to be to excel at playing baseball. Raw athleticism certainly helps, but one also needs skills honed over years of playing baseball from tee-ball to college to the professional leagues. It’s worth keeping in mind the next time you want to say a player stinks.