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    Baseball nets a basketball icon...

    1994 Michael Jordan Game Worn Birmingham Barons Air Jordan Cleats--Consigned by Fellow Player! There are two nearly universally-held opinions about Michael Jordan--he was the greatest basketball player of all time, and his aspirations to become a Major League Baseball player were a silly delusion. However, only the first of those two contentions is accurate. While it's historical fact that His Airness never actually did make it all the way to "The Show," some pretty serious experts believed that path was blocked not by a lack of ability but rather by Jordan's return to his native hardcourt home.

    "He had it all--ability, aptitude, work ethic," explained Terry Francona, Jordan's manager with the Barons who would himself find his way to the Bigs, and even World Championship glory, in the years to come. "He was always so respectful of what we were doing and considerate of his teammates...I do think with another 1,000 at-bats, he would have made it." The Oakland A's actually offered Jordan a spot on their twenty-five-man roster, but Jordan refused, intent upon earning his way upwards rather than accepting an artificial boost from his global fame.

    This pair of cleats from Jordan's brief flirtation with our national pastime is the second we have had the good fortune to offer, the first setting a hobby record earlier this year with a $93,000 result. Identical in format to that record pair, this one likewise derives from a fellow Double-A Southern Leaguer named Ed Smith, third baseman for the Orlando Cubs. Smith tells us that Jordan was constantly hounded by other players for autographs and took a liking to Smith for showing restraint and treating Jordan like any other minor leaguer. The shoes were Jordan's way of expressing gratitude for that treatment. Smith's letter of provenance will accompany the shoes.

    The custom Nikes stick to the famous "Jumpman" logo but are otherwise remarkably unadorned, just solid black leather with an embroidered number "45" in white at each heel. You'll find many photos of Jordan wearing this style at Getty Images, including #94704353 and #81875743. Each is tagged at interior tongue, size 13.5. Game wear is evident. Three photos of Jordan and our consignor together are likewise included in the lot. Letter of provenance from player who received shoes from Jordan. Photos of pair together. LOA from Heritage Auctions.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2020
    29th-30th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 27
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