Top of the Morning, Jan. 12, 2019

Top of the Morning, Jan. 12, 2019

Interim Urbana schools Superintendent PRESTON WILLIAMS once played alongside LARRY BIRD at Indiana State.

In baseball.

Williams, a star at Indiana State who was drafted by the Atlanta Braves, told the story during his entertaining appearance on Wednesday's "Penny For Your Thoughts" on WDWS 1400-AM.

Not long after Bird led the Sycamores to the '79 NCAA basketball tournament title game — 40 years ago this March — he was convinced to suit up for a doubleheader against Kentucky Wesleyan. The game drew around 3,000 curious fans, including a nervous agent who would later represent Bird in the NBA.

As Williams tells it, Bird was playing first when he chased a pop fly only to collide violently with Indiana State's catcher.

"Larry got knocked out," Williams said. "His agent ... climbed the backstop trying to figure out what had occurred. When they did the smelling salts and (Larry) kind of woke up, first thing he said was 'I swallowed my (tobacco).'

"That was the last inning that he played. He was a good athlete, but his agent said that was enough."

Listen to Williams' appearance below:

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