Burke was the first openly gay player in MLB and invented the high-five.
On October 2nd, 1977, Glenn Burke, outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, made history without even swinging a bat. When his teammate Dusty Baker hit a historic home run, Glenn enthusiastically congratulated him with the first ever high five.
But Glenn also made history in another way–he was the first openly gay MLB player. While he did not come out publicly until after his playing days were over, Glenn’s sexuality was known to his teammates, family, and friends. His MLB career would be cut short after only three years, but his legacy and impact on the athletic and LGBTQIA+ community would resonate for years to come.
New York Times bestselling author Andrew Maraniss tells the story of Glenn Burke: from his childhood growing up in Oakland, his journey to the MLB and the World Series, the joy in discovering who he really was, to more difficult times: facing injury, addiction, and the AIDS epidemic.
Packed with black-and-white photographs and thoroughly researched, never-before-seen details about Glenn’s life, Singled Out is the fascinating story of a trailblazer in sports–and the history and culture that shaped the world around him.
In the spring of 1942, the United States government forced 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes in California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona and sent them to incarceration camps across the West. Nearly 14,000 of them landed on the outskirts of Cody, Wyoming, at the base of Heart Mountain.
Behind barbed wire fences, they faced racism, cruelty, and frozen winters. Trying to recreate comforts from home, many established Buddhist temples and sumo wrestling pits. Kabuki performances drew hundreds of spectators—yet there was little hope.
That is, until the fall of 1943, when the camp’s high school football team, the Eagles, started its first season and finished it undefeated, crushing the competition from nearby, predominantly white high schools. Amid all this excitement, American politics continued to disrupt their lives as the federal government drafted men from the camps for the front lines—including some of the Eagles. As the team’s second season kicked off, the young men faced a choice to either join the Army or resist the draft. Teammates were divided, and some were jailed for their decisions.
Bradford Pearson’s The Eagles of Heart Mountain: A True Story of Football, Incarceration and Resistance in World War II America (Atria, 2021) honors the resilience of extraordinary heroes and the power of sports in a sweeping and inspirational portrait of one of the darkest moments in American history.
America and Canada both saw historic sports milestones in 1993. While the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bulls reigned supreme, the Toronto Blue Jays won a second consecutive World Series on a walk-off homer, and the Montreal Canadiens emerged as the last Canadian team to win a Stanley Cup. While stars like Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Joe Montana overcame physical and emotional challenges to make history, teams were performing unprecedented feats, from the Buffalo Bills’ unrivaled comeback on Wild Card Weekend to the Baltimore Orioles’ unveiling of their transformative ballpark design during All-Star Week.
Drawing on original interviews with dozens of former players and coaches, David Ostrowsky’s Pro Sports in 1993: A Signature Season in Football, Basketball, Hockey and Baseball (McFarland, 2020) revisits an exceptional sports year for fans across North America, with memorable stories involving some of the most iconic sports figures of the 1990s.
It was a pleasure talking to Josh Mendelsohn about his book on the story behind the NBA’s salary cap.