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Today in White Sox History: February 7

MJ shifts careers, and Magglio shifts cities.

Chicago White Sox Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan made his rumored shift to baseball official on this day, 28 years ago. A week later he made his spring training debut, pictured above.
SetNumber: X45758


Michael Jordan signed a minor league deal with the White Sox, officially reporting to spring training later in the month and eventually starting his professional baseball career at Double-A Birmingham.

After one of the more acrimonious disputes in team history, free agent and four-time All-Star Magglio Ordoñez signed with the Detroit Tigers for five years and $75 million.

Ordoñez engaged Sox management in a war of words over how he was treated, the contract offered to him, and his health status. Magglio’s agent, Scott Boras, refused to turn over medical information, which infuriated GM Ken Williams and basically sealed Ordoñez’s fate. Additionally, manager Ozzie Guillén publicly called out Ordoñez in no uncertain terms over the contract situation.

Considering the severity of Ordoñez’s knee injury — which required a secret trip to Austria for experimental surgery — it was hard to blame the Sox for their stance.

Ordoñez played with the team for six full seasons and parts of two others, with 187 home runs and 702 RBIs. In his full seasons, Ordoñez never hit worse than .282, and in five of those years he hit better than .300.