Jamie Lee Curtis & Ryan Murphy Teaming For Netflix Series About The First High Five

Jamie Lee Curtis is synonymous with the Halloween films, Ryan Murphy is synonymous with American Horror Story, and the two are teaming up for a Netflix limited series. What sort of diabolical horrorshow is this going to be? Well, sorry to disappoint horror fans, but it’s actually a series about…the man who invented the high five?

Yep. The series will be called Outfielder, and will focus on 19-year old Los Angeles Dodger, Glenn Burke, who on October 2, 1977, slapped the hand of Dusty Baker, delivering what is now considered the first-ever recorded high five. Baker had just hit his 30th home run during the last game of the season, which put him into an elite club with other historic Dodgers.

But on top of that, Burke went on to become the first MLB player to come out as gay to his teammates and team owners while he was still playing, was also the first to publicly acknowledge it. In a New York Times piece, Burke is quoted as saying: “Prejudice drove me out of baseball sooner than I should have. But I wasn’t changing.”

Burke played for the Dodgers and Oakland Athletics from 1976 until 1979, before going on to compete in the 1982 Gay Olympics in track and then again in 1986 in basketball. Unfortunately, Burke passed away from AIDs in 1995, but his legacy lives on; in 2013, he was inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.

Curtis told Deadline that she’s had the rights to Burke’s story for a while, and has been trying to get the film made for 10 years.

While a film about the first high five sounds silly at first, the deeper story behind it and the man who delivered it should actually be a fascinating portrait of firsts. The high five story was covered in an ESPN 30 For 30 special, but this Netflix series should be an opportunity to dive deep into how Burke impacted the world in both big and small ways.


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