We knew Mike Tyson could throw a punch. Now we know he can throw a strike.
The former heavyweight champion threw out the first pitch at PNC Park last night prior to the Pirates-Brewers game. Tyson traveled to Pittsburgh to promote a Showtime card for his Iron Mike Productions. The man who once roughed up Don King for allegedly cheating him out of money now makes his money from promoting fights.
Pirates star Andrew McCutcheon clowned by dropping to a knee, feigning pain from Tyson’s superhuman strength, upon shaking the boxer’s hand in the Pirates clubhouse. On the field, Tyson drew laughs, and shock, when he pretended to bite Pirates catcher Mike Tony Sanchez’s ear after throwing out a looping strike of a first pitch.
Tyson famously bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear in their June 1997 rematch. The bites resulted in a disqualification from referee Mills Lane and an extended suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Tyson’s barbaric antics then made him a pariah. Years removed from a rape conviction, the biting outrage, and utterly bizarre outbursts, Tyson has strangely reemerged into a cuddly persona in retirement.
Boxing’s bad boy emeritus provided good luck to the Pirates. They blew out the Brewers 11-2.
Photo credit: Charles LeClaire, USA Today