Please welcome the fabulous Kate McMurry to Gay Book Reviews today! She has all the details about the second, improved edition of Out in the Field.
I wrote a lot of the first draft of Out in the Field in the summer of 2011. Part of my research was to listen to a lot of baseball podcasts, because I wanted to capture the way fans and baseball experts talk about the sport with each other. I remember one particular baseball reporter predicting that, despite having a weak team at the time, because of the way they were developing their farm teams, the Kansas City Royals were going to be the team to beat in a few years. No one believed this guy. But lo, the Royals made it to the World Series in 2014 and won it in 2015.
The plot is perfect, the pacing will keep your interest every page of the way, the chemistry between Matt and Iggy is off the freakin’ charts, and the ending is perfect in just about every way.CP's ReviewBut this was not the only change that has happened in the last five years. Revisiting the manuscript again highlighted for me how opportunities for LGBT athletes have changed in the last five years. For one thing, there were no out professional players when I wrote Out in the Field in any of the men’s professional sports leagues. (Women were the real pioneers for LGBT athletes, with out professional athletes in basketball, soccer, and tennis.) Since 2011, Jason Collins came out (and played with the Brooklyn Nets, just a few blocks from my apartment). Michael Sam was drafted to the NFL. LGBT athletes are breaking through, coming out, and paving the way for future generations.
Sort of. Out in the Field was based on the premise that a beloved, famous player could be gay. Someone well-regarded by the media, someone hall-of-fame bound. A player of the same approximate level of fame and talent as a Derek Jeter, maybe. What if a high-profile athlete came out? We haven’t really seen that yet, at least not in baseball.
One of my favorite M/M romances and my ABSOLUTE favorite baseball M/M romance!Gigi's ReviewI believe it’s only a matter of time. In the years since the first edition of Out in the Field first hit shelves, Major League Baseball banned discrimination and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation. In 2014, the MLB hired Billy Bean to be their Ambassador for Inclusion. (Not to be confused with Billy Beane of Moneyball fame, by the way.) Bean is a former MLB player who came out after he retired. In his new role, Bean is responsible for developing education and training initiatives to support members of the LGBT community throughout the entire MLB organization.
Because there have been gay men playing baseball since the first game at Cooperstown.
There have been a dozen stories in the last few years of college players coming out to their teammates, and many of these players are bound likely to be drafted by a major league team. There are a couple of out gay players currently in the minors. So, as I said, it’s really a matter of time until we have an out gay MLB player, and the MLB is doing the work now to pave the way for that.
And I, for one, would love to see a real life Matt Blanco or Iggy Rodriguez.
Title: Out in the Field (Second Edition)
Author: Kate McMurray
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 13, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Baseball Romance
Page Count: 216
Reviewed by: Gigi and Crabbypatty
Matt Blanco is a legend on the Brooklyn Eagles, but time and injuries have taken their toll. With his career nearing its end, he’s almost made it to retirement without anyone learning his biggest secret: he’s gay in a profession not particularly known for its tolerance.
Iggy Rodriquez is the hot new rookie in town, landing a position in the starting lineup of the team of his dreams and playing alongside his idol, Matt Blanco. Iggy doesn’t think it can get any better, until an unexpected encounter in the locker room with Matt proves him wrong.
A relationship—and everything it could reveal—has never been in the cards for Matt, but Iggy has him rethinking his priorities. They fall hard for each other, struggling to make it through trades, endorsement deals, and the threat of retirement. Ultimately they will be faced with a choice: love or baseball?
Kate McMurray is an award-winning romance author and an unabashed romance fan. When she’s not writing, she works as a nonfiction editor, dabbles in various crafts, and is maybe a tiny bit obsessed with baseball. She has served as President of Rainbow Romance Writers, the LGBT romance chapter of Romance Writers of America, and is currently on the board of RWA’s New York City chapter. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.