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)
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.