This speedster, who led three minor leagues in steals, is sometimes given credit for inventing the "high five." After his ML days, he participated in the Bay Area Gay Games. He died of AIDS in 1995. (TG)
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FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»October 2, 1977: Dusty Baker homers in his final AB of the season during a 6–3 loss to the Astros. It is Baker's 30th home run of the year, enabling him to join teammates Steve Garvey (33), Reggie Smith (32), and Ron Cey (30) in making the Dodgers the first team ever to boast four 30-HR hitters in one season. When he crosses the plate he is greeted by on-deck batter Glenn Burke, who raises his hands and Baker matches him, allegedly the first high five in history.
»May 30, 1995: Former Dodger and Athletic OF Glenn Burke dies of AIDS at the age of 42. Burke, thought to be the originator of the "high five," was the only former major league player to have admitted to being gay, though it was well-known during his playing.
»August 30, 1999:
In an article in The New York Times, former major league OF Billy Bean reveals his fears as a gay man in the world of major league baseball. Former Dodgers Glenn Burke, who died of AIDS in 1995, is the only other ex-player to have acknowledged his homosexuality.