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Newz Forum: BASEBALL: Ali To Throw Out All-Star First Pitch

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posted on Jul, 9 2004 @ 02:56 PM
Retired boxing legend Muhammad Ali will throw out the first pitch for the All-Star Game at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Tuesday, the Houston Chronicle reported.

"It should be one of the most historic moments fans will ever see at an All-Star Game," said Ed Goren, president of Fox Sports, which will broadcast the game.

Ali had four professional fights in Houston, defeating Cleveland Williams in 1966, Ernie Terrell in 1967 and Jimmy Ellis and Buster Mathis in 1971.

Ali is better remembered for taking a stand in Houston against the Vietnam War. On April 28, 1967, Ali refused induction into the military at the old U.S. Armed Forces Examining and Entrance Station in downtown Houston.

"I refuse to be inducted into the armed forces of the United States because I claim to be exempt as a minister of the religion of Islam," Ali wrote at the time to explain his decision.

Ali was later indicted and convicted by a federal court jury in Houston of violating the Universal Military Training and Service Act. Although he was sentenced to serve five years in prison and fined $10,000, he avoided prison while appealing his case.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 1971, and Ali returned to boxing and had two historic fights against Joe Frazier and won the heavyweight championship twice before retiring in 1981.

While out of boxing during his appeal of his conviction, Ali was stripped of his titles, and he was refused a license in all 50 states until 1970.

© 2004 NBC

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