cover image Behind the Mask: 2my Double Life in Baseball

Behind the Mask: 2my Double Life in Baseball

Dave Pallone. Viking Books, $18.95 (392pp) ISBN 978-0-670-83312-2

After eight years in the minors, Pallone became a National League umpire during the arbiters' strike in 1979; as a ``scab,'' he had to contend with the ill will of his colleagues, few of whom relented during his 10 years in the majors. But he had an even more pressing problem: a homosexual, he dreaded public exposure. Yet when his lover was killed in an auto crash, he began frequenting gay bars and associating with other gay men, which caused rumors about his sexual orientation to circulate in baseball. A showdown came when his name was tangentially linked to those of acquaintances involved in a scandal concerning teenage boys; at the end of the 1988 season he was asked to resign. Writing with freelancer Steinberg, Pallone seemingly holds nothing back, giving readers the most candid and riveting sports autobiography since Navratilova's Martina.(July)