If there’s anything more fun that watching Michael Jordan strike out in the 1990s, it may be watching Jordan whiff in the 2010s. That’s the chance that the Joliet Slammers are extending to His Airness. The Frontier League team has invited Jordan to strap on the cleats and come back to hardball.
Working off of Jordan’s 2009 Hall of Fame induction speech, where he said he may play basketball again at 50 years old, the Slammers have invited Jordan to join their team. Jordan turned 50 just this past Sunday, and Joliet, Ill., is just 45 miles south of Chicago (although Jordan has since moved from the city of his heyday).
“Who knows how the book is written if there was no Major League Baseball strike in 1994?” Slammers general manager Chris Franklin said, according to the Slammers news release. “It worked out pretty well for Michael and basketball fans around the world, but we would like to offer MJ the opportunity to write the final chapter by playing baseball for the Joliet Slammers or, at the very least, honor him in a way nobody else has.”
The Slammers have apparently worked out all the details. Jordan would get the max contract from the team of $1,600 a month. He would also get $20 in meal money for each day, and he could be put up with a host family if needed. The team is also offering some perks, such as a luxury suite for Jordan’s games, according to the news release.
Then the news release gets ridiculous, as the team suggests a shoe deal and acquiring the bus that Jordan previously bought for his team. But the Slammers’ GM insists the offer is for real.
“Again, we’re serious about giving Michael the opportunity to play professional baseball with the Slammers this summer,” Franklin said in the news release. “We do have an age limit in our league, but like Nike and the red and black Air Jordans his rookie year in the NBA, we’ll take the fine. There are dozens of gimmicks we could throw out there in the offer, but we’re playing by the rules and think he would respect that. It could be one last challenge for the greatest competitor of all time.”
Short of Jordan coming back, the Slammers plan on retiring his number.
Jordan batted .202 with 51 RBIs and three home runs in the Southern League with the Birmingham Barons during his short stay in baseball.