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Muhammad Ali delivers ceremonial first ball to the mound at Marlins Park

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali made an appearance for the opening festivities at Marlins Park Wednesday night, delivering the game ball to the mound while riding in a cart alongside owner Jeffrey Loria.

Loria sat alongside, holding Ali's hands as the cart moved in from beyond the center field wall. The sellout crowd of 37,000-plus cheered "Ali! Ali!" as the cart made its way toward the pitching mound.

Ali, 70, trained at the Fifth Street Gym on Miami Beach for many years and is now battling Parkinson's disease. The cart stopped at the mound and Marlins players came over to pose for pictures. Slugger Hanley Ramirez took the ball from Ali and left it on the pitching rubber.

The Marlins did not have anyone through out a ceremonial first pitch. 

Starter Josh Johnson delivered a called strike with the first pitch, a 93-mile per hour fastball, to Rafael Furcal moments later. Catcher John Buck quickly ran over and handed the ball to stadium officials.

Furcal grounded out to Jose Reyes at shortstop, the first official out in Marlins Park history.

Carlos Beltran followed with a single to right field, the first hit in Marlins Park history.

Comments

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Glaga6

What the hell was that?!!! Very anticlimactic and awkward.

spitballer

The Ali stunt really did come out as a blunder. He appeared to not know where he was.

Marlins R A Joke

Brazilan dancers? they looked like they worked Flagler St. Bring out a decrepit, shaking,almost unreconizable Ali and a crappy national anthem, then get no hit into the 7th...what an embarrassment...

Glags

Damn! The Ali stunt was so bad I had forgotten about the national anthem. That was horrible. And why wouldn't they have someone throw a ceremonial first pitch. I hope who organized these "ceremonies" doesn't have a job tomorrow. It wasn't very well thought out.

Thom

Ali looked like he was gonna shake,rattle and roll ,right out of the cart...maybe that's why Loria had a tight hold on him...scary looking display of an ill senior citizen...

richiej

The High School Player that hit the first home run in the new Park should have been invited to through out the first pitch. Ali looked very sad with his poor health. But it got a little publicity for Gloria.

Leandro

and felt pennant. a0I had a very Marlins Christmas. a0Anyway, I hope you all ejnoyed my previous post. a0Today I will continue with my second encounter with an extended member of the Marlin

Celia

the Mets / Wilpons were heavily itsevned with Bernie Madoff, and may still have to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars that they received from him back into a victims fund. Whether they're actually broke or just crying poor for appearances, they were never going to write Reyes a big check.

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