Fall Premier Auction 2020

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In Lot 331, we brought you Michael Jordan's NBA debut ticket. Here we present his MLB debut ticket from his first Spring Training game in a Chicago White Sox uniform. Wearing No. 45--the same number he sported as a little league youngster in North Carolina--Jordan bounced a one-hopper back to Rangers pitcher Darren Oliver on the fourth pitch he saw. It was his only at-bat of the day in front of a packed crowd at Ed Smith Stadium (current capacity 8,500), the ChiSox's Grapefruit League facility in Sarasota, FL.

ESPN's recent "Last Dance" documentary gave us all a nice refresher into MJ's mysterious 18-month hiatus from basketball following his third straight NBA title and the tragic murder of his father. While many will forever doubt this baseball "experiment" as little more than a publicity stunt, the fact remains that Jordan showed a lot of promise for a 31-year-old who hadn't played competitively since high school. After being sent down to Chicago's Double-A affiliate in Birmingham, AL, Michael started off with a 13-game hit streak before going into a prolonged slump due to a constant dosage of curve balls. His Barons manager, Terry Francona, complimented MJ's work ethic as the basketball god would show up early to take extra BP, eventually working his way back to a batting average above the Mendoza line (.202) with 88 hits and 51 RBI over 127 games. A "remarkable" feat, in Tito's words. He is convinced that MJ could have become a major-leaguer had he stuck with it. Alas, the 1994 strike put a hold on the '95 season, and by April "His Airness" was back in a Bulls uniform, donning No. 45 in his much anticipated return. But the craze he stirred in a brief season of pro ball only added more legend to MJ's legacy. More importantly, it inspired a second Three-Peat run even more glorious than the first.

This full ticket from the March 4, 1994 contest was initially affixed to a matte and framed. The consignor, who attended the game in person and had this extra unused ticket, removed it from his display with the intention of grading it. Unfortunately, due to PSA's policy against grading Ticketmaster tickets, it must be left in raw form. During transit, the sticky residue on the back bled through the front, creating 3-4 horizontal stains that come in a unique pattern almost as if intended. Other than this surface issue and the back residue, the ticket is in fine condition with strong colors, sharp corners, straight edges and no creases. We have never seen one of these, in full or stub form, and could find none offered publicly either. This could very well be MJ's first and only baseball debut ticket to surface!

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