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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:LGBTQ+ / Gay
  • Language:English
  • Pages:440
  • eBook ISBN:9781626752146

Baseball Comes Out

A Revolutionary Novel

by Jack Saunders

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When Billy Gallagher, a strangely aloof pitcher on a fictional San Francisco Giants team, is outed as gay, he at first denies it. Gallagher had never been an easy man to like. Now people around him had an idea why. The malicious outer had published a lurid photo showing Gallagher dressed in frightening S&M regalia at a Montreal leather bar. Other photos in the tabloid filled in a mosaic of welts and bruises inflicted in pursuit of sexual gratification. With the media now ransacking his past, the accused man decides to come out at a press conference, proudly introducing his partner -- a popular teammate. Conservative forces, led by a reactionary fictional owner of the Cincinnati Reds, call the gay players "men who torture for pleasure" and demand the pair's ouster from the game "in the best interest of baseball" – well recognized code in the game for banishment without appeal. The Giants management goes all in to fight for the gay players. The national uproar is deafening. People unprepared to process this new reality -- team management, other players, fans and the media -- must make difficult personal decisions. The future of the gay players is still in doubt when resolution comes in the World Series at Yankee Stadium
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.
About the author
Professor of news media and public relations, Golden Gate University, San Francisco