4
| Sports |

How Awkward Was Muhammad Ali's First Pitch Last Night?

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

On the opening night of the Marlins new ballpark, a lot of things went right: Parking wasn't a catastrophe. The weather was South Florida perfection. On national TV, the new ballpark looked damned gorgeous — lime green facades, swimming polls and all. And in the best news of the night, no Marlins went yard, so baseball fans were spared exposure to the water-belching, Marlins-shaped eye-stabber in left.

But let's talk about that first pitch. Bringing out Muhammad Ali, a legend with a strong Miami tie, in theory must have seemed like a great idea. In practice? Oy,was that awkward.

Within a few minutes of Ali emerging in a golf cart from an outfield tunnel with less-than-universally beloved Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, it was evident that the move might be tough to pull off.

As the cart trundled slowly across the outfield grass, Loria grinned manically and seemed to grip Ali's trembling arms in an ever-more-desperate grasp. The crowd quickly fell into uncomfortable silence.

The announcer tried to restart some enthusiasm with an "Ali, Ali!" chant, but then the cart reached the infield and silence again descended as Hanley Ramirez tried to wedge a ball into Ali's shaking hand.

Ali's an American icon, and it's always great to see the 70-year-old in public and greeted by a cheering crowd. But this? Deadspin nailed how many felt watching the moment: it was tough to feel celebratory about "the sad, shameless sight of Loria trotting out Ali's disease-ravaged body for a forced on-field ceremony."

[via Deadspin]

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.