Behind the Mask
My Double Life In Baseball
In his hotly-controversial New York Times bestselling autobiography, former National League umpire Dave Pallone rips the homophobic mask off major league baseball with a brutal candor that bristles with drama and truth. But the real kicker here is Pallone's parallel -- and explicit -- account of his coming to grips with his sexuality in a culture that seems as confused about this as him. Through remarkably-detailed, funny, touching, outrageous, and sexy stories, he openly explores a complex life fraught with persecution, exhilaration, tragedy, and glamour (like brief affairs with a major “heartthrob” film star and a popular "macho" baseball player) without self-promotion or self-pity. In straight, frank talk, Pallone opens himself to more public scrutiny and critique than any other professional sportsperson in memory, while reminding us that our culture, even in its 21st century, still wrestles with how to accept all of its citizens equally.
Pallone became a National League umpire during the 1979 arbiters' strike; during his 10 years in the majors, he encountered animosity for his original ``scab'' status and rumors of the homosexuality he tried to conceal. When his name was linked to a scandal involving teenage boys, he was asked to resign at the end of the 1988 season. According to PW, ``Pallone seemingly holds nothing back, giving readers the most candid and riveting sports autobiography since Navratilova's Martina. '' Photos. Author tour.
Behind the Mask
Behind the Mask is an interesting combination of baseball politics and one man’s life in and out of baseball. Mr. Pallone does not portray himself as perfect, far from it, but he does portray his difficult closeted life in what seems to be a truthful manner. Clearly, living such a life takes a toll on a person. Sad.
Dave Pallone is an inspiration. I read this book when I was 15, 22 years ago, and living in a small town in North Alabama. I felt like I was the only gay person in the whole state. This book and Dave's story taught me that a gay man who loves sports wasn't that unusual after all. Thank you Dave!