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Glenn Lawrence Burke

Professional Baseball Player. He was born in Oakland and died in San Leandro (California). In 1972, Burke was recruited by the Los Angeles Dodgers and sent to play in the minor leagues in Utah, Washington, Connecticut, and New Mexico before being called on for "the show." Weighing a lean 220 pounds, his teammates nick named him King Kong. Also, he is credited with inventing the "high five" in 1977 when he ran out onto the field to congratulate his Los Angeles Dodgers teammate Dusty Baker for hitting a home run in the last game of the regular season. But he is fondly remembered due to he was the first major league baseball player to openly discuss his homosexuality. But, when this was public, Burke's baseball career was cut short. The management of the Dodgers had offered a "marriage of convenience" to conceal his homosexuality. When he refused, he was traded. His career declined and in 1988, Glenn was arrested for drug possession and briefly jailed. In his 225 games in the majors, Burke batted .237 with two home runs, 38 RBI and 35 stolen bases. Burke continued his athletic endeavors after retiring from baseball. He competed in the 1986 Gay Games in basketball, and won medals in the 100 and 220 meter sprints in the first Gay Games in 1982. His jersey number at Berkeley High School has been retired in his honor. Once, he declared "Being black and gay made me tougher."

Bio by: José L Bernabé Tronchoni


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: José L Bernabé Tronchoni
  • Added: 16 Feb 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 13360959
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Glenn Lawrence Burke (16 Nov 1952–30 May 1995), Find A Grave Memorial no. 13360959, citing Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, Alameda County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .