Midway through a month that was supposed to have us at the edge of our seats with thrilling postseason basketball action, two events are inevitably approaching. Father’s day (in Europe, at least) as well as the broadcast date for the final two episodes of The Last Dance are less than a week away! What is the live-action bereaved basketball community supposed to dive into next?
While the groundbreaking documentary series on the Jordan and the ‘98 Bulls has admirably filled the playoff-sized hole in the heart of basketball fans around the globe, father’s day offers a great opportunity to consider another documentary gem, Jordan Rides The Bus.
Deeply shaken from his father’s sudden death, an already physically and mentally exhausted Michael Jordan retired from the game of basketball after the 1992-93 season to pursue his second childhood dream, a career in Major League Baseball. The ESPN-produced 30For30 takes the viewers along for the ride on the bus that MJ and his teammates rode during their Double-A baseball season.
Contrary to the prevailing opinion (and one infamous SI cover), Jordan’s stint in the farm system of the Chicago White Sox, conveniently also possessed by Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, was far from unsuccessful.
Most importantly, his time with the Birmingham Barons was the pursuit of Jordan’s personal goal, a shared dream and an instrumental element to the close bond he had with his father. After all, it was James R. Jordan’s wish to see his son attempt a career in the Majors. Playing baseball therefore played an important role in Michael’s personal grieving and healing process, the success of which can ultimately only be judged by him.
In addition, his statistics — especially his batting average with the Barons as well as in the ensuing fall league — are fairly impressive considering that despite his mega-star status, he should be evaluated as a player who skipped several stages within the Minor League system after not having played for thirteen seasons. That being said, we’re not mad about him ultimately returning to basketball.
To round out the deep-dive into Michael Jordan’s baseball career, BSTN has compiled a carefully curated selection of authentic Nike MLB jerseys and — living up to our premium sportswear philosophy — the range of mirrored Oakley sunglasses to match. Word to Lamar and the Ravens!