To be a popular athlete takes more than just being good. All the MVP awards and World Series titles in the world won't make a difference if you're still an arrogant tool (sorry, A-Rod).
Popularity requires charm, charisma, dedication and humility. Nobody knows this better than Michael Jordan, one of the most popular athletes ever.
Jordan was an unstoppable basketball player and likely the best ever, but he made several times more money away from the court than he did on it. Why?
Because Jordan was a master at building and maintaining public support. He was to sports PR what Bill Russell was to the center position. Nobody has ever done it better.
Basketball fans across the country loved him, even as he was single-handedly demolishing their team. Nobody ever had anything bad to say about Jordan because he had earned the respect of his coaches, teammates and the general public.
So it seems only fair to name this award after the immortal MJ, who nearly a decade after retiring is still raking in millions of dollars in endorsement deals.
These five baseball players together represent everything that the great Jordan symbolizes. They chose their words, and their actions, very carefully, and for that they were rewarded with public and media praise. They've built their personal brands as athletes to all-time highs and are on the cusp of superstardom. So here they are again for your enjoyment and admiration.
To see the five athletes who won this year's ignominious OJ Awards (worst PR moves), please click here.