Pallone umpired his first game at the age of 19 in the New York-Penn League in May 1971. He remained in the league for the 1972 season before being promoted to the Carolina League for the 1973 season. He spent half a season there before again being promoted on June 27 to the Eastern League. He umpired in the EL through the 1975 season, when he was brought up to the International League. Pallone spent the 1976 season in both the International and Eastern Leagues before being called up for good to the IL in 1977. He stayed in the league until 1979, when he was one of eight umpires hired during that year's strike by major league umpires.
Pallone remained in the NL for ten years, and umpired in the 1983 Major League Baseball All-Star Game and the 1987 National League Championship Series. He was the home plate umpire when Pete Rose tied Ty Cobb for the most hits (4192), Nolan Ryan's 4,000th strikeout on July 11, 1985, and on September 25, 1986 he was the second base umpire when Mike Scott of the Houston Astros pitched a 2-0 no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants to clinch the NL West Division championship.
On April 30, 1988, Pallone was involved in a highly controversial confrontation with Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose. Pallone was umpiring at first base in the ninth inning when he called New York Mets outfielder Mookie Wilson safe on a delayed call, with the delay giving Howard Johnson the time to score the eventual game-winning run. Rose immediately rushed to Pallone to argue both the call and how slowly it was made. With both tempers boiling over, Pallone was mocking Rose's gestures by pointing his finger at Rose, which led Rose to (later) accuse Pallone of poking him in the face. Rose then shoved Pallone, causing Rose's immediate ejection, and proceeded to shove him again. Pallone denied touching Rose and Major League Baseball never determined that he did in fact touch Rose. However, the incident led to fans throwing garbage on the field, temporarily stopping the game and causing Pallone to be taken out of the game to ease tensions. The incident also resulted in Rose being suspended for 30 days with a $10,000 fine as well.
In September of that year, Pallone was forced to resign. He was "outed" in a New York Post article later in the year. Pallone later wrote his autobiography, Behind the Mask: My Double Life in Baseball, about his experiences as a gay man working in baseball. His autobiography became a "New York Times" best-seller, and he now spends his time working with gay youth, speaking to corporations and athletes with the NCAA about diversity in regard to sexual orientation, and is preparing to launch the Ebook version of Behind the Mask: My Double Life in Baseball.
Behind the Mask: My Double Life in Baseball (Signet) by Dave Pallone
Mass Market Paperback: 1 pages
Publisher: Signet (April 3, 1991)
Amazon: Behind the Mask: My Double Life in Baseball
Pallone's "double life"--a gay working as an umpire in the macho world of professional baseball--led to his release in 1988 by the National League, which claimed he had exhibited "unprofessional behavior." Pallone talks honestly about his controversial career, including his confrontation with Pete Rose during a 1988 Mets game, which cost Rose a 30-day suspension and a $10,000 fine; unfortunately, it cost Pallone his job. Pallone provides interesting comments about calling the pitches of such great pitchers as Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan and theories on different aspects of the game, as well as revealing anecdotes about his gay love life. The book captures Pallone's torment: he wanted to admit his homosexuality publicly, but feared the consequences because of baseball's ingrained homophobia. Recommended for public libraries. - Ron Chepesiuk, Winthrop Coll., Rock Hill, S.C.
Jocks: True Stories of America's Gay Male Athletes by Dan Woog
Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: Alyson Books; 1st edition (January 1, 1997)
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Find out what happens when the final closet door--that of men in sports--finally swings open. Is there life for gay athletes after coming out to their teammates? Journalist Dan Woog, himself an openly gay soccer coach, interviewed dozens of gay jocks and offers over 25 inspiring stories of men who are truly today's champions.
Journeys Across the Rainbow : Inspirational Stories for the Human Race by David Jensen & Dale Colclasure
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Rainbow Pride Press (November 6, 2000)
Amazon: Journeys Across the Rainbow : Inspirational Stories for the Human Race
JOURNEYS ACROSS THE RAINBOW, Inspirational Stories For The Human Race, a new book compiled and edited by Dale Colclasure and David Jensen is being released through Rainbow Pride Press in Boulder, Colorado. The book features nearly eighty inspirational stories, with contributions from around the world. John Bradshaw, New York Times best-selling author, counselor, theologian and public speaker, Betty Fairchild, best-selling co-author of “Now That You Know: A Guidebook for Parents of Lesbians and Gays,” Tim Gill, founder of Quark, Inc., Sgt. Mitchell Grobeson, the first openly gay police officer in the Los Angeles Police Department and author of the book, “Outside the Badge,” Dan Jinks, Producer of the film, American Beauty, W Mitchell, best-selling author and public speaker, Dave Pallone, New York Times, best-selling author of the book, “Behind the Mask: My Double Life in Baseball,” and Patricia Nell Warren, best-selling author of, “The Front Runner,” and “Harlan’s Race,” are only a few of the many contributors to this powerful and inspiring compilation.
This book features inspirational stories and various chapters focus on the following areas; spirituality, addiction and recovery, coming out, business, rising above, creative spirit, love, HIV and AIDS, and many others.