When the astonishing news broke that Michael Jordan was quitting basketball at 31 to play baseball, few people gave him a chance to make the big leagues. They were proven right when he quit during the work stoppage after hitting .202 with little power in 1994, but plenty of baseball people think he would have made it if he had stuck with the game. He had natural ability, being named player of the year in North Carolina at age 12, but baseball is not forgiving to 13-year absences, and he needed more time. No one would ever outwork Michael Jordan. Thus, it’s a bit of a what-if that we’ll never know the answer to because Jordan got the basketball itch again and went back to dominate the NBA for years. Complex takes a look back at Air Jordan’s year riding the bus in the bush leagues.
The Oral History of Michael Jordan’s Minor League Baseball Career
Chipper Jones was a perfect fit for the Atlanta Braves. A Southern boy with the drawl and the way he slowly worked the tobacco in his cheek. Also, he could really play. When he broke out in 1995 the Braves dynasty was already well underway, they had lost World Series in 1991 and 1992, then lost the NLCS in 1993. 1994 was the strike year (sigh). Jones proved to be party of the solution as the dynasty recorded their only World Series win in ’95. The Chipper Jones legend was underway, and he would go on to be consistently great for almost two decades, winning the MVP in 1999. He’ll take the Cooperstown stage before this decade is over. Creative Loafing gathers an impressive list of Braves royalty to discuss Larry Wayne Jones Jr.
Chipper Jones: An oral history
Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David are huge baseball fans and it certainly showed through on their show. There was the “second spitter” spoof of the Kennedy assassination, George’s tumultuous career as the assistant to the traveling secretary of the Yankees, Kramer promising a dying child that Paul O’Neill would hit two home runs for him, and more! Complex compiles great anecdotes from the Seinfeld gang as well as a number of their baseball guest stars.
The Oral History of Baseball on ‘Seinfeld’
Instead of returning for his junior year of high school Bryce Harper joined College of Southern Nevada, a junior college, as a 17 year old. This would make him eligible for the MLB draft a year earlier. It hadn’t been done before and it hasn’t been done since. But Bryce Harper was different. Anointed as the next big thing on a Sports Illustrated cover at age 16, Harper was the LeBron James of baseball. At CSN he would be playing on one of the best teams in the country and facing some of the best pitching. How did it go? The school’s single-season home run record was 12 when he arrived. It was 31 when he left. Vice Sports talks with CSN teammates and coaches about the magical year Harper tore shit up.
Man Amongst Boys: The Oral History Of Bryce Harper’s Record-Setting Junior College Season
How many business ideas have been discussed in big league bullpens? Thousands, easily. What’s the one that was actually successful? Big League Chew, shredded bubble gum created by guys who were sick of tobacco juice being spit on their shoes.
Big League Chew: An Oral History
20 minutes before Game 3 of the 1989 World Series, the 6.9 Yorba Linda earthquake rocked Candlestick Park, a moment witnessed live by millions watching the national telecast. Grantland revisits the event as well as the civic and baseball aftermath.
The baseball blog “Fire Joe Morgan” is still remembered fondly by readers who like witty eviscerations of sports cliches and their human embodiments.
We Didn’t Know What The F— We Were Doing: Fire Joe Morgan on Fire Joe Morgan
It’s one of the most replayed clips in sports history: Gibson leaning low over the plate to swat a looping liner into the right-field seats, then hobbling around the bases with his famous fist pump.
‘That was a cool feeling’: An oral history of Kirk Gibson’s iconic 1988 home run