23 YEARS AGO TODAY: JORDAN SHOWS ‘EM … KIND OF


On the day Sports Illustrated released a cover story imploring him to quit, White Sox minor leaguer Michael Jordan delivered his first professional hit. 

“I’m glad it’s over and done with,” Jordan after the Sox 9-5 split squad Grapefruit League win over the Minnesota Twins in Sarasota, Fla., on this date in 1994.

Jordan’s infield hit ended an 0-for-14 start to his pro career. 

“MJ” entered the game in the sixth as a defensive replacement in right field. 

In his first at bat, Jordan drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch during a plate appearance in which he did not swing. 

He then stole his first career base, sliding safely head first into second ahead of catcher Matt Walbeck’s throw. 

In the eighth, Jordan was facing right-hander Jeff Innis. On a 1-1 pitch, Jordan sent a bouncer to third that he beat out after Jeff Carter knocked it down but couldn’t make a timely throw. 

The crowd of 6,410 at Ed Smith Stadium responded with a standing ovation. The throng rose to its collective feet again moments later when Jordan scored on Dann Howitt’s homer. 

After the game, his teammates celebrated Jordan’s first hit by giving him a beer shower. 

“Maybe you reporters will go home now,” Jordan said afterward. 

Some reporters Jordan had probably wished never arrived in Florida were those from Sports Illustrated. 

The magazine ran a picture of Jordan clearly swinging and missing at a pitch with a blaring caption that declared: “Bag It Michael! Jordan and the White Sox are embarrassing baseball.”

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