Friday night is LGBTQ+ Pride Night at Dodger Stadium, and among the pregame festivities is honoring former Dodgers outfielder Glenn Burke, the first openly gay MLB player.
It’s the Dodgers first meaningful public acknowledgment of Burke since trading him away in 1978 after learning he was gay. Scott Miller at the New York Times caught up with Burke’s family, some of whom will be in attendance and part of the pregame ceremony, as well as former teammates and Dodgers executives.
“Being made partially whole, a part of the Dodgers’ fabric, I’m excited and ecstatic that my uncle will be acknowledged as a part of the team, with his contributions and his character not being in question anymore,” Alice Rose, his niece, said.
Clayton Kershaw, Max Muncy, and Andrew Heaney start rehab assignments this weekend. Kershaw told Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register, “My back’s healthy now. ... I was never worried about my arm. I could throw 100 pitches tomorrow with my arm. I’m not worried about that. It’s just making sure you build up the tolerance with your back. I’m ready for the game on Sunday.”
Kevin Pillar fracturing his shoulder was especially tough since he finally got to play for his hometown team, but only played four games before getting injured. Pillar on Thursday said, “This was the place I ultimately wanted to be, that I dreamed of since I was a little kid. I finally felt like I was fitting in here,” per Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times.
I enjoyed this turn of phrase from Fabian Ardaya in The Athletic’s preview of the Dodgers-Mets showdown series: “The Dodgers can look at the season as a series of tests before October’s final exam. This is a benchmark.”
Freddie Freeman’s incredible consistency was analyzed by David Adler at MLB.com.
David Laurilia at FanGraphs asked a bunch of major league broadcasters the best pitching performances they’ve seen in person. Dodgers broadcaster Tim Neverett picked two, one of which was Walker Buehler in Game 3 of the 2018 World Series. Jim Palmer, Orioles broadcaster and Hall of Fame pitcher, tabbed Moe Drabowsky’s 11-strikeout, scoreless relief appearance in Game 1 of the 1966 World Series against the Dodgers. Palmer was just 20 years old that season, his second in the majors.