White Sox Trainer Herm Schneider Talks Publix Grocery Trip with Michael Jordan

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 7, 2020

Chicago White Sox minor-leaguer Michael Jordan looks at his hand as he finishes batting practice, Monday, Feb. 27, 1995, Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Pat Sullivan/Associated Press

The most recent episodes of ESPN's The Last Dance shined a light on how difficult it was for Michael Jordan to go out in public without getting mobbed by fans.

That treatment didn't stop when he decided to play baseball.

Chicago White Sox head athletic trainer emeritus Herm Schneider recently recalled a late-night grocery run with Jordan to a Publix store in Sarasota, Florida, during spring training in 1994.

It did not go well.

Schneider described the experience on a media call Thursday:

"This was at about 12:30 a.m. ... There was basically not even a handful of people in the store at that time. But it's unbelievable; within 30 minutes, the word got out that he was at the store, and it was a zoo in that store at about 1:15 a.m. It was crazy.

"He said 'Let's get these groceries paid for and let's get out of here.' So we did that and it was pretty crazy. Two or three guys who were working there saw him and recognized him, and they got on their phones or whatever they did, and it was incredible."

Plenty want to be like Mike, but Jordan still had to shop like everyone else.

Back in Chicago, he had devised a plan to avoid inciting a riot when he needed to stock up on essentials.

Jordan's former Bulls teammate Brad Sellers told Jerry Bembry of The Undefeated that a local grocery chain would close off the store so MJ could shop.

"He told me he would call Jewel-Osco about 15 minutes before they closed and let them know he was coming in," Sellers said. "They would stay open later to let him shop."

Sellers added Jordan always tipped the staff extra for staying late.

If only Schneider had known to give Publix the same heads-up.