Kerry and I were in the same reading session at GayRomLit, so we had a little baseball extravaganza going there. Kerry contacted me about doing a baseball-related guest post a while back, and I was like, “Of course!” I am all about promoting sports romances. So, without further ado, here’s Kerry. — Kate
I vaguely remember watching baseball as a child. My brother loved sports of all kinds, and I watched a few games here and there with no deep interest or allegiance to any one team.
But in 1998, things changed. I began to watch the Home Run Race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa as a news event. Soon, though, I started watching the actual games. And I liked them.
To me, baseball was more a scientific sport, all curves and trajectories. Games weren’t won by knocking the other guy on his ass. Actually, hitting an opposing player would get someone thrown out of the game. There was talk of the sweet spot and averages… and I was a goner.
Once I fell in love with the game, picking a favorite team was a no-brainer: the Atlanta Braves all the way, baby. And when a cute little second baseman I noticed during the Home Run Race went to play for them in 1999, I was even more devoted.
Come on, I am not going to sit here and pretend that I don’t notice the boys in their tight little pants. *swoon* Sure, I love the game, but I can definitely appreciate the scenery.
That year, the Braves went to the World Series against the hated New York Yankees (okay, maybe it’s just me that hates them). I managed to get tickets to the first game, which was played at Turner Field in Atlanta, and, even though I was in the nosebleed section and the Braves lost, I will never forget the wonder of that game.
In my new book Pine Tar & Sweet Tea, both Matt and René are former professional baseball players turned high school coaches. They both were closeted during their playing days, but only Matt has remained in the closet now that he’s a coach. They both love the game, and their lives are dedicated to the young men they lead.
To date, there has not been an active Major League baseball player come out publicly, although there have been players who have come out after retirement. While one hopes things are changing for gay players, there are still examples of overt homophobia by players, most recently a player suspended for having a homophobic slur written on his eye black.
It’s only a matter of time before an active player comes out. The 2012 Summer Olympics saw numerous out athletes competed, and recently an active featherweight boxer came out. NFL players routinely speak in favor of marriage equality. Hopefully soon the environment will be such that any athlete in any sport will feel free to be who they are.
Thank you Kate for having me on your blog! And everyone, please visit the tour kickoff post to enter the super-duper tour giveaway.
Kerry was born and raised in Alabama, and she grew up swearing she was going to get the hell out of Dodge the instant she could. Turns out Dodge ain’t so bad, and she never left. Alabama’s version of a city girl, she married a country boy, and the adorkable couple lives in a small town with their two socially awkward dogs.
Kerry loves to write about love, and it turns out most of the voices in her head are men. She also loves to write about the South, so most of her stories end up there, one way or another.
A tomboy and a geek from way back, Kerry has a day job but dreams she will one day write full time. She has a weakness for yaoi, Japanese stationery, YA, and ginger-haired singers from Britain. She owns an impressive t-shirt collection. Nowaki & Hiroki are her homeboys.
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And check out an excerpt under the cut: