Pittsburgh Pirates starter A.J. Burnett returned from the disabled list on Thursday after missing six weeks with an elbow strain, and he was greeted back to the mound ... as Batman.
Who knew that Burnett was even known as Batman? I mean, we've heard of New York Mets starter Matt Harvey as The Dark Knight, but the Batman moniker for Burnett isn't that well known. His Baseball-Reference page nor his Twitter bio refers to any sort of Gotham-related nickname.
Still, Burnett seemed to love it.
Burnett called the Bat signal "the coolest thing to happen to me in my career."— Will Graves (@WillGravesAP) September 11, 2015
Burnett has a special relationship with the city of Pittsburgh, and he has enjoyed his return there in 2015, going 8-5 with a 3.06 ERA in 22 starts, and made his first All-Star team this season. Burnett liked his previous stint in Pittsburgh (in 2012-2013) so much, that he turned down his $12.75 million player option with Philadelphia to become a free agent, then signed a one-year deal with the Pirates for $8.5 million.
The mayor of the city even got involved in Burnett's return, per MLB.com:
Pittsburgh mayor William Peduto noted and expressed thanks for the cool project in a statement issued by his office on Thursday night:
"On behalf of the City of Pittsburgh, I would like to thank DC Comics and Warner Bros. Entertainment for permission to project the Bat Signal during tonight's Pirates game as we welcome the team back to Pittsburgh and A.J. Burnett back to the mound."
The Pirates ultimately lost in 13 innings to the Milwaukee Brewers, 6-4.