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Pallone, Dave (b. 1951)  
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On November 1, 1988 the district attorney's office dropped the investigation of Pallone, a fact that received scant notice in the press.

Pallone set up a November 30 appointment with Giamatti to arrange his return to the game, but the Commissioner asked him to retire to avoid being fired. Pallone was devastated to hear this from a man whom he viewed as a compassionate guide. He believed that Giamatti only asked for his resignation under pressure from club owners and because, he wrote, "Maybe he figured I was better off out of baseball now, and that the whole mess might be a blessing in disguise."

Pallone's initial impulse was to fight to retain his job and fulfill his dream of umpiring in the World Series, but he eventually realized that it was not to be.

In January 1989 Giamatti wrote Pallone a letter, stating that "among the reasons for the League's decision to terminate your employment were substantial allegations that you engaged in certain conduct which could be interpreted as serious misconduct or acts of moral turpitude." Despite this, and somewhat incredibly, Pallone remained convinced that Giamatti had his welfare in mind, and he mourned the Commissioner's sudden death in September 1989.

In his life after baseball, Pallone has become an advocate for glbtq rights. He published his memoir, Behind the Mask: My Double Life in Baseball in 1990. Soon thereafter he became a public speaker, appearing on television shows such as Larry King Live and The Today Show as well as at workshops to educate the public about diversity, the effects of discrimination, and the need for all people to be respected equally. "I truly dislike the word 'tolerance,'" commented Pallone. "I want to be accepted and respected, not tolerated."

Pallone has been invited to speak about diversity in the workplace by such entities as Microsoft, Pfizer, Pillsbury, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

He has also conducted numerous workshops at colleges and universities around the United States, and he believes that the atmosphere there is improving. "I am one of the lucky ones who can say they've seen differences from 1990 to 2007," he commented. "Yes, there is still bigotry in America, even on college campuses, . . . [but] I am really encouraged with the young people of today." Nevertheless, he stated, "We still have a long way to go."

He thinks that the way may be particularly long in men's sports, especially in the "big four"—baseball, basketball, football, and hockey. In 2007 he cautiously predicted that an active player might come out within the next five years, although he noted that he had said the same thing in 1995.

One of the most rewarding aspects of Pallone's work is hearing from glbtq young people who have taken strength from his book or his programs. Some have even told him that he kept them from committing suicide.

Pallone and his partner, Keith Humble, a hospital financial manager, reside in Dallas, Texas. The couple has been together since the mid-1990s.

Linda Rapp

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social sciences >> Overview:  Outing

First used by homophobes and then by glbtq activists, outing is the public revelation of a person's sexuality without the consent of that person.

arts >> Overview:  Sports: Gay Male

While sports, at least on the major competitive level, may be the final closet for gay men, there have nevertheless been a number of gay male elite athletes.

arts >> Amaechi, John

Closeted throughout his professional basketball career, John Amaechi is the first player from the National Basketball Association to acknowledge that he is gay; since coming out, he has become an eloquent spokesman for glbtq rights.

arts >> Bean, Billy

Former baseball player and current television personality, Billy Bean was closeted throughout his major league career but has since become a proud advocate for glbtq rights.

arts >> Burke, Glenn

The first major league baseball player to acknowledge his homosexuality publicly, Glenn Burke believed that homophobia impeded his chances for a more successful career.

arts >> Kopay, David

The first American professional athlete to acknowledge his homosexuality publicly, former National Football League player David Kopay stands near the head of the short list of openly gay and lesbian elite athletes.

arts >> Roberts, Ian

At the height of his athletic career, Australian rugby superstar Ian Roberts made the courageous decision to come out as a gay man.


Buzinski, Jim. "Changing Attitudes, One Pitch at a Time." Outsports (July 10, 2001):

Forman, Ross. "Dave Pallone Still Calls 'Em Like He Sees 'Em." Outsports (March 26, 2007):

Harris, Rosemary. "Striking Out Intolerance." The Gazette (Colorado Springs) (June 24, 2002):

Pallone, Dave, with Alan Steinberg. Behind the Mask: My Double Life in Baseball. New York: Viking, 1990.


    Citation Information
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Pallone, Dave  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2009  
    Date Last Updated February 25, 2009  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2009 glbtq, Inc.  


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