The Louisville Bats will start tonight’s game at Syracuse Chiefs with a minute’s silence to commemorate the life of Muhammed Ali. The team will wear black armbands over the black sleeves of their uniform to honor Louisville’s sporting hero, who died yesterday.
Ali, then Cassius Clay, was born in Louisville in 1942, and did his early fighting there. He was led to the sport by Louisville police officer Joe Martin at age 12. He went on to win six Kentucky Golden Glove titles before winning the Olympic gold in Rome at 1960 and turning professional, the point which marked the beginning of arguably the most celebrated career in professional sports.
The Bats are 32-19 for the season, with the best record in the AAA International League. But they have struggled against Syracuse, losing the first two games of the series by big margins. Starting pitcher for tonight’s game, Theron Robinson, is hoping the team can draw inspiration from the memory of the great Louisville athlete. “Ali truly was The Greatest” said Robinson. “We’re just out there to do a job. But you know, tonight maybe my curveball’s going to float just a bit like a butterfly; and maybe my cutter’s going to sting just a bit like a bee. And Louisville will remember Muhammed Ali”.
UPDATE: Theron Robinson struck out five batters with no walks in six innings in Louisville’s 6-3 victory over Syracuse.