Michael Jordan turned 50 last week. You and I know this because both the local and national media wouldn’t shut up about it all week; even though it was a total non-story. Leeching off the recent Michael Jordan mania, a Chicago area independent league baseball team is looking to get some publicity of their own.
The Joliet Slammers, named for the city’s reputation for it’s prison industry, offered Michael Jordan a chance to play this season; yes even at age 50. The Slammers, who used to be known as the Joliet Jackhammers (named for the city’s declining steel industry), are a franchise known for pulling publicity stunts like this. A lot of minor league teams have wacky promotions but Joliet takes it a step further. They previously held a Rod Blagojevich “golden seat” night and offered White Sox legend and future MLB Hall of Famer Frank Thomas a contract when his career was over.
So although the team may not be affiliated with any major league franchise, they know how to get people talking in a major way. And last summer they had a tarp disaster video go viral.
“There are a lot of loyal Chicago Bulls and White Sox fans who I believe would fully support his decision to come back to the game of baseball,” GM Chris Franklin said. “When he started with the White Sox, hitting coach Walt Hriniak asked him if he was serious about playing baseball. Michael may ask us the same question Walt asked him and we have the same answer he did. Dead, dead serious.”
As the offer stands, Jordan would be granted a maximum Frontier League contract of $1,600 per month with $20 daily meal money and a host family if needed, although unlikely. Players typically receive two tickets per game on the pass list, but with the overwhelming amount of family and friends in the area, the Slammers would be willing to provide Jordan with a Loaded Luxury Suite for 23 people that includes all-you-can-eat and drink hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta salad, mustard potato salad, baked beans, cookies and Pepsi products for 90 minutes every game. The team would also be open to signing a shoe deal with Brand Jordan for the upcoming season and look into purchasing the JordanCruiser, the famous bus that Michael “bought” for his former team.
Obviously, the money would mean nothing to Jordan; he’s worth a gazillion dollars. When the NBA fined him $100,000 for criticizing the lockout, the money was to him what a nickel is to you or me. By the way, if you want to check out his fiance Yvette Prieto go here.
And I wonder how Jordan’s lawsuit against another sportswear company turned out?
A Fulbright scholar, author and MBA, Banks has appeared on the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.