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Yes, Jordan Could Have Made The Majors

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  • Yes, Jordan Could Have Made The Majors

    Here's an interesting article from the Birmingham News.

    Yes, Jordan Could Have Made The Majors

    Poets and novelists, not to mention country music singers, have long lamented the tragedy of loss, be it loves, or dreams, or opportunities.

    If poet John Greenleaf Whittier didn't say it best, he was one of the most quotable in his work "Maud Muller": "For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: `It might have been!'"

    A decade after Michael Jordan spent a summer at The Met in Hoover, it's natural to wonder what might have been if he hadn't walked away from baseball in the spring of 1995.

    One story at the time of his retirement from baseball speculated he was disappointed he wasn't slated for promotion to Triple-A. Another said his decision was based simply on a desire to play basketball again.

    There were hints of another reason. Returning to Double-A Birmingham shouldn't have been a negative. Most people believe the biggest difference between Double-A and Triple-A is only that players ride buses in Double-A and fly in Triple-A. It's not unusual to go to the majors from Birmingham.

    The biggest factor in Jordan's decision may have been the major league players strike, and a rumored plan by White Sox brass to use Jordan to management's advantage against the striking players. He felt a loyalty to major league players, although he was a major leaguer in another sport.

    Had there not been a strike, Jordan would have started again in the minors, but would he have ended 1995 in Chicago?

    In '94 Jordan hit .202 with three home runs, 17 doubles and 51 runs batted in. He had 30 stolen bases, fifth in the league, and 11 errors, the most for a Southern League outfielder.

    He did this as a 31-year-old rookie who hadn't played baseball since high school. To me, his numbers were amazing. The late Jimmy Bragan, then president of the Southern League and a longtime scout, said at the time that Jordan had a chance to make the majors.

    I believe he would have made it to the majors for a couple of reasons. One, of course, is that his name is Michael Jordan. He would have meant instant sellouts in Chicago and around the American League, just as he did in Birmingham and the Southern League.

    But the other reason he would have made it to the majors is because he would have had the statistics to deserve the promotion. I think he would have walked away before accepting a promotion because of his name instead of his numbers.

    Perhaps my feelings are not as objective as they should be. In the summer of 1994 I became a Michael Jordan fan. It wasn't that he and I were "tight," that we hung out together or visited on birthdays.

    What Jordan did to make me a fan was to respect the fact that the media had its job. More than any other superstar I've ever covered, he made that job easier. He was protective of his privacy and his family, but when a reporter asked a question he took the time to answer. And he did it for the hometown guys just as he did for USA Today or ESPN.

    So, do I think Michael Jordan would have made it? You bet I do, and maybe that's because I would have wanted him to make it.

    But let's not lament baseball's loss too greatly.

    In baseball, his instincts and motion on the field may have made you think of poetry.

    In basketball, Michael Jordan was poetry.

    He turned the eyes of the sports world on Birmingham for a summer in the game he chose to play. But he went back - for whatever reason - to the game he was born to play.

    News staff writer Wayne Martin covered the Barons during Michael Jordan's season with the team.

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  • #2
    Jordan may have progressed to the majors deservingly but he never would have been in the even the top 50% of major leaguers.

    The biggest step in a baseball career (other than amateur to pro) is generally accepted as AA to AAA, so the sports writer is a bit off on that count.


    • #3
      Check the facts about the AA to AAA being the biggest jump. Many major league players skip AAA completely these days and go from AA to the show. Others remain in AAA and have lots of cups of coffee, if you get my drift, in the bigs as the big team needs fillers for players on the DL and etc.

      Anyway, I saw Michael Jordan play and all I saw was Michael Jordan....not the Great Michael Jordan making it to the bigs. And do you really think he'd have gotten the chance to play in the minors if his name was Joe Schmoe?????

      Gimmeeeeee a break!
      Nothin' like fun at the ol' ballpark!


      • #4
        WHO CARES!!!!!!!!!!


        • #5
          PUJOLS...............welcome to the forum...........I th8ink. This is only your second post, you chose this thread, and your only remark is "who cares"???????

          Who cares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          Nothin' like fun at the ol' ballpark!


          • #6
            I think it's the most valid point made so far.
            2016 World Series Champions


            • #7
              Jordan making the Majors? Right!

              With out coming off as affending to anyone, Let me say this. " M. J. didn't Stay in baseball for One reason and One reason alone. And it wasn't due to the Strike. it was plain and simply Because he couldn't hit the Ball worth a damn. And Couldn't ever Come close to hitting a Curve. he knew his limitations and went back to doing what he did best. jordan in the Major Leagues HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! the ball was to Small and he couldn't run Fast for 90Ft. Thanks for making me laugh today. HAHA! LOL!


              • #8
                Yeah, and Yogi Berra could have been a ballerina, if only he could have danced.
                "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
                Carl Yastrzemski


                • #9
                  I wouldn't have been surprised if Jordan were brough up simply as a publicity stunt.....

                  that is, if Bill Veeck had still been alive and owning the White Sox.


                  • #10
                    I'm not sure but I belive that MJ was a one-tool player in the minors:speed. Maybe if he played baseball for a bit longer he would've learned to get on base and use his legs.


                    • #11
                      yeah, i'm surprised he didn't drive the white sox to the world title a decade earlier


                      • #12
                        Jordan is the perfect example of a sport champion: he's the best basketball player ever, he plays a very good golf (i remember him in a golf videogame, something like jack nicklaus 6... ), and he spent a season in AA ball...that's amazing!

                        Ok, he hitted an anemic .202, he was unable to hit breaking pitch etc...but who can join the game at 31 yrs and play a AA season hitting 200+? A phenomenon. Pure and easy.

                        Maybe if he had choose to play baseball he wouldn't be a 5 tools cooperstown guy (...or yes? who knows...), but respect for that amazing guy, he can do everything.

                        Maybe he will play NCAA football one of this days as a receiver...i'm sure he still has the legs!!!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by runningshoes53
                          Yeah, and Yogi Berra could have been a ballerina, if only he could have danced.
                          Now that.....would have been a sight to see. Yogi as a ballerina. How about Boog Powell. Could they find a pair of tights to fit him.


                          • #14
                            How about Mo Vaughn as an Olympic sprint runner, or Grady Sizemore as a bodybuilder, or how about Babe Ruth as a curler?


                            • #15
                              No question that Jordan is a very talented athlete, and that with some improvement, name recognition alone may very well have been enough for him to be promoted to the Bigs in Chicago. However, I think it would only have been name recognition that would have got him there. Sure, his numbers look pretty good for a 31 year old rookie who hadn't played since high school, but I have my doubts that within a year or two or ever, he would be able to improve to the point where he would make a viable major leaguer. Perhaps he'd get to a .250 AA hitter with good speed, but that doesn't bode well for the majors. Jordan was a terrific athlete to be sure, but the statistical leap he would have to make in his early 30s in order to make a big league team withou name recognition, seems to me to be too big to pull off.


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