A very frail and apparently ailing Muhammad Ali courageously threw out the first pitch at the Miami Marlin’s home opener. It was a scene some found reminiscent of the boxing champ’s lighting of the Olympic torch in 1996. The Huffington Post reports:

The mystery of who would throw out the Miami Marlins’ unannounced first pitch in their new Marlins Park was finally put to rest Wednesday night, but the talk is not dying down.

Owner Jeffrey Loria’s surprise guest turned out to be the greatest himself, boxing legend Muhammad Ali. But a rousing cheer from the crowd quickly turned to a heavy hush at the sight of the obviously ailing 70-year-old, whose body is overwhelmed by the effects of Parkinson’s Disease resulting from a lifetime of blows to the head.

It was hardly the inspirational scene in Atlanta in 1996, when a trembling but dignified and triumphant Ali touched the world by lighting the Olympic Torch, one of the Games’ most meaningful moments. Ali, who no longer speaks in public, was wheeled onto the field in a cart moving at a very slow crawl, his arms shaking heavily while a smiling Loria clutched one hand and supported Ali with an arm around his shoulders.

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