Glen Burke is often credited with being the first openly gay major league baseball player. It probably depends on your definition of “openly,” as he did not make his sexual orientation known to the public until after he retired, though he was out to many of his teammates with the Dodgers and the A’s. I guess how you characterize it all depends on how much stock you put on someone being out “in the locker room,” literally speaking.
At any rate, Burke wrote a book about his life before he died in 1995 and a documentary as made about him and aired in 2011. Now, a Hollywood star is trying to get a feature film made:
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis is making progress on her project of producing a film version of the life of the first openly gay baseball player, Glenn Burke, reports Deadline. Laramie Project producer Ross Katz just signed on to write the film, which the Halloween star has been endeavoring to develop for some time. Titled Out at Home: The Glenn Burke Story, the picture is based on the memoir of the same name, written by Burke with Erik Sherman; the book came out in 1995, the same year Burke died of AIDS complications.
Also: Burke is often credited with inventing the high five, so whoever they cast has to be able to do that.
(thanks to historiophiliac for the heads up)
Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.
It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.
Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:
He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.
“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”
The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.