elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
elisa_rolle
elisa_rolle

Glenn Burke (November 16, 1952 – May 30, 1995)

Glenn Burke was a born ballplayer—a "natural"—who spent several years as an outfielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland A’s before the pressures of living a double life with his teammates forced him into early retirement—and an honored place on San Francisco’s gay softball teams.

Burke once said, "They can’t ever say now that a gay man can’t play in the majors, because I’m a gay man and I made it." He was dubbed King Kong by his Dodgers teammates for his size and strength.

Burke was always open about his sexuality with his family and community, but not with his teammates or team management. When he debuted with the Dodgers he threw a party at the Pendulum, a neighborhood gay bar.

He encountered tremendous prejudice within the baseball community and had to resist pressure from his coach, Al Campanis, to marry. His friendship with manager Tommy Lasorda’s estranged openly gay son, Tommy Lasorda, Jr., caused additional problems for Burke.

When Burke returned for spring training with Oakland in 1980, Billy Martin, the newly hired manager of the Athletics, made public statements about not wanting a homosexual in his clubhouse. Burke eventually quit major league baseball. He stated in his autobiography that "prejudice just won out."

Burke died from AIDS-related illness in 1995. One of his legacies is the "high five," which he introduced to baseball.


AIDS Quilt

Source: Queers in History, The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgenders by Keith Stern

Further Readings:

Out at Home: The Glenn Burke Story by Glenn Burke with Erik Sherman
Paperback
Publisher: Excel Pub (July 1995)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 096481580X
ISBN-13: 978-0964815803
Amazon: Out at Home: The Glenn Burke Story

The Glenn Burke Story is a compelling look at the life of an athlete, forced out of baseball by prejudice, and finding the inner character to discover happiness with himself.

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3623753.html. If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
Tags: boys like us, gay classics, queers in history, sport: glenn burke
Subscribe

  • Mascarado by Runny Magma

    Even if it's probably unbelievable, it was more than 10 years I haven't read a full novel written in Italian. So it was quite strange at first, I…

  • Secrets and Demons by Daniel Devine

    The book was really short, maybe in a way even too short. The plot was nice and catching right from the beginning, high school student new in town…

  • What's in a Name? by Pat Henshaw

    Not sure why this story pickedd my interest, it was probably the description of "Guy", the bartender who basically rescues and beds Jimmy…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Comments allowed for friends only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 0 comments