When Michael Jordan turned 50 on Sunday, Indians manager Terry Francona sent him a happy birthday text and Jordan responded almost immediately.

So what is the connection between the manager of the Indians and the greatest basketball player in history?

It goes back to 1994, when Jordan “retired” from the NBA to play baseball for Birmingham, the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Francona was his manager.

Jordan batted .201 with 17 doubles, one triple and three home runs in 436 at-bats, stealing 30 bases in 48 attempts.

The numbers are not impressive until they are put in context. Jordan was 31 at the time and hadn’t played baseball since high school. Keep in mind that the majority of players who sign baseball contracts out of high school or college never make it to the Double-A level.