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Major League Baseball to Honor Late Gay Player Glenn Burke at All-Star Game

Burke

MLB player Glenn Burke, who spent his career closeted before coming out as gay in 1982, will be honored by the League at Tuesday's All-Star Game in Minneapolis. Burke died in 1994 of AIDS-related causes. There is still no openly gay player in professional baseball.

The NYT reports:

“He was a pioneer, and should be recognized,” Pat Courtney, a Major League Baseball spokesman, said.

Attending the game will be Lutha Burke, one of Glenn Burke’s five surviving siblings, who cared for Burke in his final months as he withered and died from the effects of AIDS, and her daughter Alice Rose. Burke died in 1995.

“It was overdue, and Glenn has a story that needs to be told,” Lutha Burke, 66, said over a cup of coffee, sitting beside Rose. “Glenn wouldn’t be upset that it took this long. He’d just say, ‘It’s about time you guys showed up.’ ”

Another announcement will be made at the game as well:

The league will also announce that Billy Bean, who played six seasons in the majors and came out publicly in 1999, four years after he retired, will work with the league on its inclusion efforts.

Read the full NYT article on Burke here.

A documentary on Burke's life premiered back in 2010. You can watch the trailer HERE.

The SF Chronicle wrote at the time about Burke's experience:

"Burke made little secret of his sexuality during his time with the Dodgers and A's in the late 1970s. Several former teammates contend this bothered management of both clubs, to the point where the Dodgers traded Burke to Oakland and then-A's manager Billy Martin later ridiculed him in front of his teammates. He abruptly retired from baseball in 1980, publicly revealed his homosexuality two years later and landed in San Francisco's Castro district, where he initially was welcomed warmly. But his life there eventually spun out of control, sending him spiraling toward drug use, prison time and AIDS. He died of complications from the disease in May 1995, at age 42."


First Inductees of the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame Honored in Chicago

21 individuals, three organizations, one sports team, and one corporation were among those honored Friday night in Chicago as the first inductees to the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame. The events, according to CBS News, included "a dinner Friday night to honor the inductees at a ceremony at the Center on Halsted and an event on Saturday at Wrigley Field called 'Out at Wrigley,' which organizers says is the largest "Gay Day' at a major league sporting event."

PalloneAmong those inducted was Dave Pallone, who umpired the first night game at Wrigley Field.

Said Pallone, via the AP:

"It is a tremendous honor and ... I hope it gives young people and adults alike who happen to be LGBT and want to be in professional sports another example of why they should continue to strive for their dreams," Pallone said.

Pallone also spoke out about the situation in Russia: "The Olympic Games are for the athletes, not for political or religious figures. Athletes come in all shapes and sizes, colors and orientations," said David Pallone, a former umpire in Major League Baseball. "I truly believe that the IOC should really start thinking about the athletes before they select the host cities."

The complete list of the organization's first inductees:

Gay Games, Outsports.com, Chicago Cubs, International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA), Anheuser Busch, Chris Kluwe, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Ben Cohen, Dave Pallone, Justin Fashanu, LZ Granderson, Christina Kahrl, Dr. Tom Waddell, Chuck Dima, Jerry Pritikin, Dave Kopay, Glenn Burke, Renee Richards, Billie, Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Greg Louganis, Patty Sheehan, Andrew Goldstein, Jason Collins, Orlando Cruz and Johnny Weir.


Watch: Documentary on Gay Baseball Player Glenn Burke to Premiere

Those of you in the Bay Area can catch a new documentary tomorrow night on Oakland A's player Glenn Burke, who came out publicly after his baseball career.

The SF Chronicle writes: Glennburke

"Burke made little secret of his sexuality during his time with the Dodgers and A's in the late 1970s. Several former teammates contend this bothered management of both clubs, to the point where the Dodgers traded Burke to Oakland and then-A's manager Billy Martin later ridiculed him in front of his teammates. He abruptly retired from baseball in 1980, publicly revealed his homosexuality two years later and landed in San Francisco's Castro district, where he initially was welcomed warmly. But his life there eventually spun out of control, sending him spiraling toward drug use, prison time and AIDS. He died of complications from the disease in May 1995, at age 42."

The documentary airs on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area at 8pm to coincide with a fundraiser at the Castro Theatre. At 9:15 p.m., a live town-hall meeting at the Castro will be telecast on CSNBA.

Watch the trailer, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Documentary on Gay Baseball Player Glenn Burke to Premiere" »


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