We all know the story of Michael Jordan going to play baseball, whether it was of his own volition or due to a secret gambling suspension from David Stern — it was definitely a secret gambling suspension from David Stern. Jordan signed with the White Sox, which were also owned by Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, and spent a season in Double-A with the Birmingham Barons.
But it turns out Jordan turned down at least one offer which would have guaranteed him a spot in the Big Leagues. Former Oakland A's GM Sandy Alderson said he called Jordan's agent when he found out he was going to play baseball and offered MJ a spot on the A's Major League roster.
MLB — “That’s one that got away,” Alderson told ESPN’s Buster Olney. “It would have been fun, but it didn’t come to fruition. It wouldn’t have won us a World Series.”
Though Falk confirmed the offer to MLB.com, he said it, unlike a Jordan dunk, never really got off the ground.
“I was excited about [the offer], and Michael was very appreciative,” Falk said. “But he wanted to do the baseball thing from the ground up. He didn’t feel he deserved a spot on the Major League roster and didn’t feel he was ready. He didn’t want to be a Herb Washington type who would just steal bases and be a part-time outfielder.”
That makes sense. I guess the competitor in Jordan wanted to make sure he was either going to make it to the Big Leagues on his own or not make it at all — plus he knew he was coming back to the NBA once his suspension was over anyway.
But what a story it could have been if we saw the greatest basketball player and possibly the greatest athlete of all-time in an Oakland A's uniform in a Major League Baseball game. Maybe we'll get to live this fantasy when Tim Tebow inevitably starts a game for the New York Mets.