It’s on basketball cards where Michael Jordan’s hobby impact is felt the greatest. And that’s exactly how it should be. But it’s not the only place. His short stint on the diamond in 1994 led to plenty of Michael Jordan baseball cards. They were most prominent in Upper Deck products.
Because of his exclusive deal and deep relationship with the company, Upper Deck was able to include him in baseball products beyond just minor league ones. This meant some Rookie Cards in flagship releases as well as inserts that helped pace the hobby in 1994 and beyond once the strike happened. Michael Jordan baseball cards can be found from a couple of other companies as well, although these are limited to minor league sets.
Here’s a look at some of the greatest Michael Jordan baseball cards ever produced.
Top 13 Michael Jordan Baseball Cards
13. 1994 Ted Williams Dan Gardiner Collection Michael Jordan #DG-1
A lot of Michael Jordan baseball cards are modern in their approach with things like foil and holograms. This one takes things back to a more traditional approach with a painted portrait of Jordan by Dan Gardiner. Jordan also appears on card #DG-9, a collage that also doubles as a checklist. Others in the set? Derek Jeter, Charles Johnson and Brien Taylor, among others.
12. 1994 Upper Deck Fun Packs Michael Jordan RC #170
Every now and again, a card manufacturer goes out and makes a set for the kids. Such is the case with 1994 Upper Deck Fun Packs. It’s a card one card accuse of not bringing the color. Baseball cards can always be seen as time capsules, but the wild look of this one makes it even more so.
11. 1995 Upper Deck Michael Jordan #200
Michael Jordan has a lot of cards that will put a smile on your face. But this one where he’s being interviewed by another Chicago legend, Harry Caray, has the ability to make just about anybody beam. It’s not a particularly valuable Michael Jordan baseball card but it’s easily one of the most fun.
10. 1994 Collector’s Choice Michael Jordan RC #661
In case the sight of Michael Jordan: Pro Baseball Player was a shock to the system for sports fans back in 1994, here’s a card that helps ease the transition. His Airness is very much in baseball mode but there are shads of the free throw line with that pose.
In addition to the base version, the 1994 Collector’s Choice Michael Jordan has Silver Signature and Gold Signature parallels. These come with facsimile autographs done in foil. Neither is particularly rare, but it does add a bit of a chase element for a card that’s pretty easy to find.
9. 1994 Upper Deck Next Generation Michael Jordan #8
It’s kind of hard to think of a 31-year-old as a next-generation baseball player, but it was 1994 and any Michael Jordan baseball card was a good one. This insert, which can be found in Series 2 retail packs (1:20 packs), is highlighted by a specialty of Upper Deck’s in the 1990s — holograms. Considering the cool factor involved, this isn’t an overly expensive card, relatively speaking. That said, it is the top card in the set along with Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez.
8. 1994 Upper Deck Michael Jordan #19
Of the handful of Michael Jordan baseball cards to carry the RC tag, the one found in 1994 Upper Deck is probably the most recognized. Emblazoned with a massive Star Rookie banner running down the side, the foil front helps it stand out even further from the regular base cards in the set. There’s also an Electric Diamond parallel. The difference is subtle, though. The only difference is the words “Electric Diamond” written along the bottom in sparkly font. As far as parallels go, it’s not a tough find, either.
7. 2001 Upper Deck Minors Centennial MJ Salute Cleats Michael Jordan #MJ-C /100
Of the more than 50 Michael Jordan baseball cards to feature pieces of memorabilia, over 30 come from 2001 Upper Deck Minors Centennial. Of those, most have bat pieces and aren’t overly memorable (on the MJ memorabilia scale, at least). The MJ Salute set highlights different types of gear including jerseys and gloves. Given Jordan’s history with footwear, it’s the cleat version that could be the most interesting, though. The fact that it’s numbered to 100 certainly helps, too.
6. 1994 SP Holoviews Michael Jordan #16
In the same vein as Next Generation, the 1994 SP Holoviews Michael Jordan combines a regular card with a hologram, this time a stripe that runs along the bottom. With the portrait inside, it’s like a futuristic spin on 1984 Topps Baseball. The Die-Cut parallel was one of the hottest baseball cards in the hobby for some time and still commands strong prices today.
5. 1991 Upper Deck Michael Jordan #SP1
The history of Michael Jordan baseball cards starts here. At the time, it was a fun short print to chase showing Michael Jordan taking some cuts at Comiskey during batting practice. It was innocent and made you wonder, “What if?” Little did we know that it was also some baseball card foreshadowing for, perhaps, the strangest phase of Jordan’s career.
4. 2001 Upper Deck Prospect Premieres Heroes of Baseball Game Jersey Trios Michael Jordan, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio
It’s not very often that Jordan can be considered the third wheel on a card. But when it’s a baseball card that also has swatches from Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio, that might just be the case. It’s a strange trio, but it’s not without its star power.
3. 2006 Sweet Spot Update Spokesmen Signatures Michael Jordan #SP-4 /20
Upper Deck’s Sweet Spot brand isn’t the only one to use ball panels to showcase signatures, but it is the one to take it the furthest. Numbered to just 20, this card is part of a lineup that also includes LeBron James, Ken Griffey Jr. and Derek Jeter. Jordan has dual-signed versions where he’s paired with each of the three aforementioned names. These have just five copies each.
2. 2000 SP Top Prospects Game Used Bats Michael Jordan Autograph #A-MJ /45
The regular game-used bat cards in this insert set are already tough at 1:288 packs. Odds aren’t known on the autograph, but with only 45 copies, it’s definitely a rarity among Michael Jordan baseball cards. And it’s that combination that helps make it stand out that much more.
1. 1995 SP Top Prospects Autographs Michael Jordan #14
Let’s face it, an MJ autograph is an anchor to most collections. But the 1995 SP Top Prospects Michael Jordan autograph brings some historical significance with it. Of the more than 2,000 different cards he has signed over the years, this is the first to make its way into packs. And it’s extremely scarce as well. While not numbered, it’s believed that fewer than 25 copies exist.