“Out. The Glenn Burke Story” is a documentary to air in November, first on Comcast SportsNet in the Bay Area. (Thanks to Tom Hoffarth of the Daily News for the link.) I’m very keen to see this; hopefully, it will make its way down south for all Dodger fans to view.
A clip of former teammate Reggie Smith being interviewed for the documentary is shown above.
From the press notes:
… Many of Burke’s teammates were aware of his homosexuality during his playing career, as were members of management. And many of those teammates believe that his sexuality – and the reaction it provoked – led to the premature derailment of his baseball career.
Out. The Glenn Burke Story tells the tumultuous story of the wedge that was driven between Burke and the Los Angeles management, the ensuing similar situation in Oakland that led to Burke’s abrupt retirement, and the hero’s welcome that Burke received in San Francisco’s Castro District after he left professional baseball.
Comcast SportsNet’s narrative follows Burke through his public announcement of his homosexuality in a 1982 Inside Sports magazine article (‘The Double Life of a Gay Dodger’) and on The Today Show with Bryant Gumbel, to his subsequent downward spiral to drugs, prison, and eventually living on the same San Francisco streets where he was once hailed as an icon. …
Tangent: The semi-true legend of Burke giving sports’ first high five was the subject of Chapter 47 of 100 Things Dodgers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. “As much as George Washington is the father of our country, Glenn Burke is the father of the high five,” the chapter begins. “Which is to say that he was involved, and he gets most of the credit — but it isn’t quite that simple …”
Update: According to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, “people in Southern California can view the documentary on DirecTV’s Sports Pack channel 696 and Dish Network’s Multi-Sports Package channel 419.”