Comprehensive Guide to Michael Jordan Baseball Cards
Michael Jordan cards remain a common topic in collecting circles. The conversation normally revolves around his legendary basketball career, but another interesting aspect deals with Michael Jordan baseball cards. While he saw limited success during his short minor league stint with the Chicago White Sox organization, Michael Jordan cards will always be a strong draw. In most instances, anything associated with him will become a popular collectible. Michael Jordan baseball cards are no different.
The sports and hobby world released a collective gasp when news broke that Michael Jordan would be retiring from basketball to pursue a career in professional baseball. Jordan was coming off of his third consecutive NBA title and there was no reason to believe that he would not lead the Chicago Bulls to four in a row and possibly more. Prompted by the tragic death of his father and dogged with persistent rumors regarding his reported gambling issues, Jordan took a break from the court to make a go at the game his father loved.
Michael Jordan joined the Chicago White Sox for spring training in 1994 but spent most of his pro career as a member of the double-A Birmingham Barons in the Southern League. He also played in the 1994 Arizona Fall League for the Scottsdale Scorpions. In the end, Jordan was away from basketball for less than two years. While his relatively unsuccessful baseball career could be viewed as the intermission for his illustrious basketball career, Michael Jordan showed he was prepared to face any challenge and both sports benefited from the experience.
Michael Jordan baseball cards will never approach the value or following of his basketball cards, but they give collectors a different avenue to take for collecting. Also, Michael Jordan baseball cards provide collectors with an opportunity to own a true Michael Jordan rookie card for a very reasonable price and a fun way to diversify their collections.
The following guide covers most of the notable Michael Jordan baseball cards. Since his short period in the sport was only during 1994 and 1995, most of the releases came during this time. This includes his three rookie cards and a variety of inserts and other base cards. Notable Michael Jordan baseball cards that came after this time are also included. The cards are all found in baseball products unless noted otherwise. To be clear, all the Michael Jordan baseball cards that have ever been released are not included in this guide, but many of them are here.
Michael Jordan Baseball Card Guide and Checklist
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While Collector's Choice made its name as a low-cost collecting option, it remains popular with and is an appealing option for several reasons. First, it's a Michael Jordan rookie card that can be found in the dollar bin. Second, it features a nice image of Michael Jordan that ties his two sports together. Lastly, it shows a goofier side of a player known for his incredible intensity and competitiveness. Parallels include gold and silver facsimile signatures.
Featuring an action shot, the 1994 Upper Deck rookie card showcases a slightly more intense Jordan tracking an outfield hit. This card can be had for just a few dollars and even high graded versions won't set you back much. There is also an Electric Diamond parallel, which is fairly easy to find.
A quirky baseball product clearly aimed at kids, 1994 Upper Deck Fun Pack is notable because it has one of the few Michael Jordan rookie cards. They are a little tougher to track down than the others because they are not nearly as popular.
Although this was several years before Michael Jordan shocked the world by leaving basketball for baseball, the 1991 Upper Deck card provided a nice chase for collectors. While it should not be considered a rookie, this card gave everyone a glimpse into the future, despite how absurd it seemed at the time.
One of many minor league cards for Michael Jordan, 1994 Action Packed Scouting Report featured a simple design that was basically just two small baseball pieces in the corners of the card.
Part of the 30-card team set from the Birmingham Barons, this 1994 release from Classic was one of the very first minor league cards for Michael Jordan.
The primary minor league release for Classic in 1994, this is one of the the more common minor league cards for Michael Jordan.
"Up Close & Personal" was a 20-card subset that featured a detailed focus on some of the biggest players in the game. Michael Jordan was also included in the group and collectors can find Silver and Gold Signature parallels.
Another team set for the Barons, 1994 Fleer ProCards has a very simple design and can be found for cheap. There are actually two versions of this Michael Jordan baseball card as the first version was reportedly destroyed when it did not turn out as anticipated. However, several still made their way out into the market and can sell for huge amounts.
Technically a short print in 1994 Upper Deck Minors, this early Michael Jordan baseball card features the same design as the base set but is numbered #MJ23 on the back. The base Silver card is shown below and there is also a Gold parallel, limited to only 15,000 copies.
One of the few basketball releases to show a baseball image for Michael Jordan, he is shown golfing on the back. Jordan and the rest of the world were not ready to let go and he would be back in the NBA by March of 1995. There are several versions of this card, including French, German, Japanese, Spanish and Italian. Collectors can also find Silver and Gold Signature parallels.
Collectors have two Michael Jordan baseball card options in 1995 Collector's Choice. The base card (#500) is found in the main set and is a horizontal card with Jordan in a white jersey. Card #238 is found in the Special Edition version of the product and shows him in a black Barons jersey. Both cards are also available as Silver or Gold Signatures parallels.
An overlooked gem among Michael Jordan cards, this 1995 Upper Deck Baseball release captures an interview between MJ and Harry Caray. It is rare for Michael Jordan to not be the center of attention, but he is the clear secondary feature of this card compared to Caray's glasses. Electric Diamond and Electric Diamond Gold parallels are also available.
Hat slightly askew, this 1995 Upper Deck Minors card features a classic profile of Michael Jordan and one of the final base cards for Jordan found in a baseball product. There is also a Future Stock parallel that includes a small logo in the top corner.
A collecting favorite based on the artistic look, Masterpieces included a Michael Jordan card in 2007. A whopping 19 parallels give collectors plenty of variety.
Found in Series 1 packs and boxes, the limited short print pairs Ken Griffey Jr. and Michael Jordan based on their shared baseball lineage with the White Sox.
This popular Michael Jordan baseball insert falls about 1:190 packs and shows Jordan chasing down a baseball while patrolling the outfield. A rare red die-cut parallel commands strong values and both versions feature 3D hologram technology on the front.
Part of a nine-card insert set found in 1994 Ted Williams, these colorful Michael Jordan baseball cards feature paintings on the front and back from Dan Gardiner.
A vivd insert set found in Series 1 hobby packs of 1994 Upper Deck, the Diamond Collection cards were found regionally. Michael Jordan's card was part of the Central region, noted by the card numbed, and showcases a blue background.
Next Generation was a Series 2 retail insert in 1994 Upper Deck that has a look similar to SP cards of this period. There was also an Electric Diamond parallel for the Michael Jordan card, but it was only available as a redemption in Series 2 hobby packs.
Found in 1994 Upper Deck Series 2 hobby packs, these SP Previews cards were regionally distributed, as indicated on the front of the card. That is the only real difference between this Michael Jordan card and the regular base cards in 1994 SP.
Easily one of his rarest baseball cards, this 1995 Top Prospects Autograph is arguably the top Michael Jordan baseball cards to own. The card holds the distinction of being the very first pack-pulled certified Michael Jordan signature. Although on-card autographs averaged one per box in 1995 SP Top Prospects, this die-cut short print card has a reported print run of just 23 copies.
Another die-cut insert in 1995 Top Prospects, this four-card set offered collectors a quick recap of Michael Jordan's baseball career.
While Michael Jordan may not have ultimately been a steal for the White Sox, this Steal of a Deal insert in 1995 Upper Deck has a refined elegance and makes it one the best looking Michael Jordan baseball cards.
Found in 1995 Upper Deck Minors retail packs, One on One covered ten different topics for Michael Jordan in a small insert set.
Another MJ insert in 1995 Upper Deck Minors, Michael Jordan's Scrapbook offered a ten-card look at Jordan's short baseball career.
One of the first baseball relic cards for Michael Jordan, the inserts included a piece of game-used bat. There is also a signed version, limited to 45.
2001 Upper Deck Minors is one of the easiest places to find game-used baseball relic cards for Michael Jordan. Collectors can pick between a wide variety of designs and relics, including cleats, batting gloves, bats, jerseys and a jersey-bat combo. There are also numbered parallels.
Not as plentiful as the MJ Salute relics, collectors should not have too much trouble locating MJ Grand Slam inserts. The five-card set features game-used bat relics for Michael Jordan.
One of the only cards to document his time with the Scottsdale Scorpions, 2002 UD Minor League includes several options under the MJ Game-Worn Flashbacks insert line.
Related Topics: Baseball Cards: Guides