Wednesday, May 01, 2013

A Glenn Burke Biopic May Be in the Works

Who's Glenn Burke, you say?

Well, Burke was a former Dodgers draftee who is thought to be the first person involved in the high-five, and regardless of what you've read recently, Burke was also the first professional sports athlete to come out of the closet to both his teammates and management.  Jason Collins, on the other hand, was the first athlete to do that and make it publicly known while still working his trade.

Well, via Mike Fleming Jr at Deadline Hollywood we learn that a biopic on his life may soon be produced, and it's likely that Collins recent admission has a lot to do with that.  Per Fleming's article.
Long before veteran hoops player Jason Collins made a groundbreaking announcement this week that he is a gay athlete, there was former Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A’s 70s phenom outfielder Glenn Burke. Burke, who right up front made his teammates and team management aware he was gay, back when this was really taboo. Post-retirement, he became the first baseball player to come out publicly, during a Today Show interview with Bryant Gumbel in 1982. Jamie Lee Curtis and JUMA Entertainment are hoping the attention being paid to Collins will provide momentum for a story she has been trying for years to tell about Burke, based on Out At Home: The Glenn Burke Story, the autobiography written by Burke with Erik Sherman.
There something remarkable about how the Dodgers seem to always have some involvement in socially significant changes.  Heck, it's something that this Dodger fan has a great appreciation for.

(Hat Tip: Alyssa Rosenberg at Think Progress)

UPDATE:  I thought it would be appropriate to add that Burke's stay with the Dodgers was hardly sunflowers and lemonade.  In fact, you could say that his time with the Dodgers was anything but that.  So, the Dodgers franchise was hardly a hero in the Glenn Burke life story.  I think it's pretty clear that homophobia played a large part in his eventual trade and lack of playing time.  From wikipedia:
Burke's association with the Dodgers was a difficult one. According to his 1995 autobiography Out at Home, Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager Al Campanis offered to pay for a lavish honeymoon if Burke agreed to get married. Burke refused to participate in the sham,allegedly responding, "to a woman?" He also angered Dodgers' manager Tommy Lasorda by befriending the manager's estranged gay son, Tommy Lasorda, Jr.  The Dodgers eventually dealt Burke to the Oakland Athletics for Billy North, by some accounts a much less talented player, suggesting homophobia was behind the trade. There, he received little playing time in the 1978 and 1979 seasons. Upon taking the managerial reins in 1980, manager Billy Martin used the word "faggot" in the clubhouse and some teammates avoided showering with him. After he suffered a knee injury before the season began, the A's sent him to the minors in Utah. The A's released him from his contract in 1980.
UPDATE II:  I've just been told that Comcast SportsNet Bay Area made a documentary on the life of Glenn Burke that aired in 2010 called "Out".  Here is a press release for the documentary.  Below is a trailer to the documentary.  If anyone knows where I can watch it please pass that along. 

Video Link:

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Blog Kiosk: 5/1/2013


Jerry Hairston Jr. shows PSY that he has some dance moves, too!  Pic via Jill Weisleder/LA Dodgers.
May 1, 1920 – The Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves set a MLB record by playing 26 innings of a game that ended in a 1-1 tie due to darkness at Braves Field. The starting pitchers lasted the entire afternoon – Boston’s Joe Oeschger and Brooklyn’s Leon Cadore.
The Dodgers signed Dominican teenager Osiris Ramirez to a deal that includes a $100,000 signing bonus.
“He can’t just keep that to himself,” Mattingly said. “Then at least we know going in to the game that we possibly should have a guy that can go four or five innings, instead of having to use the whole group.”

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Pedro Guerrero is in Town

Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.
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One of the Dodgers greatest sluggers of the past 30 years will be signing at Harry's Dugout in Whittier.  Pedro Guerrero will be there from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM.  Check out their flyer below.  Get more info here.
Harry's Dugout
10715 W Beverly Blvd, Whittier, CA 90601, (310) 639-1061
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The esteemed Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts will be signing the revised version of “100 Things Dodgers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die” this coming Saturday at Barnes & Noble in Pasadena at 2:00 PM.  Check out more information here.
Barnes & Noble, 111 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA

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This event is in June.  Check it out!


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PSY Rocked the House as Ryu Shut Down the Rockies

After watching the Kings falter in overtime last night, I have to admit it was strangely refreshing knowing that the irrepressible Korean pop star PSY was at Dodger Stadium to greet the fans.  Thankfully, the Dodgers were kind enough to pass along some photos (they are below), and it put a big smile on my face.  It was even better watching Ryu masterfully handle the Rockies to win his third game of the year.

It's strange how a loss by a dominant playoff team in spectacular fashion could be masked with a victory by a team still trying to gain a foothold on their season.  Such is life, though... eh?

Anyway, with Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound PSY decided to take in a game, and the Dodgers provided some hilarious photos to prove it.  Check them out below.  BTW, each of the photos are credited to: LA DODGERS/JILL WEISLEDER.  Click any pic to embiggen.

I don't think PSY will find himself on the Dodgers team roster any time soon.  He got all-batting-tee on that swing above.  And what the heck is that crazy dance routine he put on?  It's like some kind of homage to Michael Jackson's Thriller.

Tommy Lasorda looks comatose in the photo above.

Yes, PSY.  We see you too.  You don't have to be so serious about it.

For some video entertainment watch PSY entrance below.

Video Link:

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *
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