Billy Gallagher enters Major League Baseball an enigma, an aristocratic Yale graduate, a student of Russian literature, with a cold, aloof personality and a pitching repertoire that mesmerizes the game. Curly Snider, an aging baseball columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, senses a Pulitzer prize might await the reporter who could crack the code on the strangely reticent Gallagher. Gallagher's policy is to entertain no personal questions. Curly starts digging. He has already sold his big Gallagher profile to Sports Illustrated and is polishing the final draft when Gallagher is outed in a tawdry gay S&M tabloid. A photo of him in frightening black leather regalia, with a distinctive tattoo showing, has been pulled from the website of a well known S&M bar in Montreal. Gallagher at first angrily denies everything, pitching the media into investigative high gear. The next night, after closing out another game in nifty fashion, the stadium rocking with gleeful public support, Gallagher comes out to the press, proudly introducing his partner. It is Edgardo Munoz, a popular teammate, Gallagher’s favorite catcher. Conservative forces, led the by a reactionary team owner who serves as a deacon in his fundamentalist church, call the gay players "men who torture for pleasure," demanding that they be banished from baseball. The San Francisco team ownership, bolstered by widespread Bay Area support, resolves to defend the players, hiring an ambitious gay PR firm to organize all-out media war against mouth-foaming homophobia. Hateful protests dog the gay players from city to city. Angry homophobic forces act out. Blood is spilled. A young player dies after taking a blade meant for Gallagher. The team fights on, some players more sold on the cause than others. Gallagher and Munoz, unlikely heirs to Jackie Robinson and his heroic barrier breaking, step onto the green at Yankee Stadium for the World Series with their futures still uncertain. But the old, unspoken conceit that only heterosexual men play big league baseball has been rendered risible, and shattered forever.