Did you know that the high five was invented by a gay man? As the story goes, on October 2, 1977, L.A. Dodger Glenn Burke, the first MLB player to come out, was on deck and Dusty Baker was about to cross the plate and score his 30th home run. Burke held up his hand and Baker slapped it.
Burke, a talented player, faced homophobia and was essentially booted out of professional baseball. He remained an athlete, playing softball in a gay league and competing in the 1982 and 1986 Gay Games. He died of AIDS-related causes in 1995.
A few days ago, Burke’s family was honored by the Dodgers on Pride Night.
Since I don’t have any photos of Glenn Burke and me, here’s a photo of Raymond and me at Pride Night a few years ago. It’s taken a few decades, but MLB has evolved from ostracizing gay players to hosting Pride events. That’s definitely worth a high five! 🙌