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)
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”
Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”
Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.