Before Jason Collins

Before Jason Collins
The world is throwing a parade for Jason Collins, the 7-foot free-agent NBA center who came out last month. He was hugged by Oprah, celebrated by “Good Morning America,” and congratulated by President Obama.

But nobody seems to remember baseball’s Glenn Burke, who tried to come out nearly 40 years ago and was stuffed back in.

“How’s Jason Collins going to talk about being the first?” says Burke’s agent, Abdul-Jalil al-Hakim. “Glenn Burke was the first. And he wasn’t any free agent, either. He was in the lineup.”

Glenn Burke was a barrel-chested jokester, a singing, dancing, one-man cabaret. His teammates called him King Kong. In high school, the 6-foot Burke could dunk two basketballs at once, in street shoes. He roamed center field for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland A’s in the late 1970s.

Burke was the pulse of the clubhouse. He wore a red jock. He’d jump in the backs of pink Rolls-Royces after games. He invented the high-five (with Dusty Baker). Oh, yes, he did.

He was as out as an athlete could be in the mid-1970s. It wasn’t that he was flaunting it. It was that he couldn’t keep it in.

“When we’d land at airports,” remembers Davey Lopes, the Dodgers’ second baseman. “There’d always be guys waiting for Glenn. We’d go our way and he’d go off on his merry way. We’d go to clubs and women would hand him their numbers. But he’d never call ’em. Didn’t matter to us. We loved him.”

In the famous 1977 Dodgers-Yankees World Series — starring Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Steve Garvey, and Ron Cey — only one rookie cracked either starting lineup: Glenn Burke.

“Nobody tripped that he was gay,” says Burke’s longtime pal, Doug Harris, who produced the documentary “Out” about Burke in 2010. “The people who tripped off it were the Dodgers [management]. They didn’t want to talk about it. He was trying to tell the reporters, but they said they couldn’t write that stuff.”

Free Tickets to Regina Belle 10/28-29,Yoshi's- Oakland; Omar Sosa 11/4-5,Yoshi's- Oakland; Brenda Wong Aoki 10/30,Yoshi's- SF; The Velveteen Rabbit 11/26, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St, SF; Business Strategic Plan; Entertainment Jobs Nov

Are you interested in growing your business? We are offering a FREE Business analysis and will discuss your needs for an overall Strategic Plan including a Website upgrade with a national media campaign, after you have completed the Strategic Planning Client Questionnaire on our website and schedule a meeting to contract our services and move forward to SUCCESS!
We can mount a media campaign for you with events and advantages your business offers to potential clients as the centerpiece of that effort. This could not only provide exposure and build your new brand, but could also build your business development with corporate sponsors, business partners, non-profit organizations and donors.
You could be your own special BRAND within and without the business campaign! This will not detract from the business campaign in any way and inevitably lead to other business opportunities, and a very effective social position that will allow you to achieve more business goals!
We will be integrally involved in creating the campaign concept with you as both a separate branded entity and the business brand. We would develop them within the overall brand platform and defining a tangible brand experience across the myriad offerings of the business services and social activities. Our work will touch on all aspects of the business as a brand, and the brand’s physical presentation; client offerings; programs; events; promotions; Web site; marketing; advertising; publicist; social media managements; sponsorship vehicles; and creation of “your business Community” through multi-channel strategies for both traditional and new media to engender an engaging, interactive and sustainable customer experience.
We will to develop and create expedient, viable, replicable solutions to optimize your bottom line, raise your public profile and social perception while increasing the satisfaction quotient for your customers.
From the great success that we have had with our Free Food Programs established in the 1950’s by my Parents, Aaron and Margaret Wallace, we have since been instrumental in the founding and supplying of other free food service organizations around the country.
With the demand for our help in creating these organizations being driven by the skyrocketing need for the services, we have decided to open up our efforts to all interested in starting a food pantry for the needy.
We can provide access to the training necessary to qualify your organization and partner you with the local organizations and businesses that can support your efforts. Contact us and we will help you through the RED TAPE and push your program to success!
We were honored in Miami, Florida and Port Au Prince, Haiti last month for the Relief Missions that we have sent to Haiti since the earthquake and are currently up for an EMMY with “OUT. The Glenn Burke Story”, have already won several honors for it and expect more.
Special “Thanks” to all that have supported our efforts over the years!
FREE tickets to Regina Belle w/ Special Guest Chris Walker, Friday and Saturday, October 28-29, 2011, 10:00 pm, Yoshi’s Oakland, 510 Embarcadero W, Oakland Ca 94607; Omar Sosa Afreecanos Quartet, Friday and Saturday, November 4-5, 2011, 10:00 pm, Yoshi’s Oakland, 510 Embarcadero W, Oakland Ca 94607; Brenda Wong Aoki and Mark Izu KABUKI JAZZ CABARET, Sunday, October 30, 2011 5:00 pm,Yoshi’s, 1330 Fillmore Street, San Francisco; The Velveteen Rabbit, Choreographed and directed by KT Nelson, Saturday, November 26, 2011, at 2:00 p.m., Novellus Theater at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street (at 3rd Street), San Francisco, CA.