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Outfielder - What We Know So Far

Ryan Murphy has become one of the most prolific creative voices in modern television. With massive hits like "Glee," "American Horror Story," "American Crime Story," and "Pose," the writer/director/producer has earned himself six Emmys and legions of adoring fans.

Now, Murphy is teaming up with Jamie Lee Curtis again, whom he previously worked with on the short-lived Fox horror comedy "Scream Queens." The two are set to produce a new series, as revealed Curtis on Deadline's "Hero Nation" podcast. "Ryan is producing a project I've been trying to get made as a producer for over ten years," Curtis shared.

The series, tentatively titled "Outfielder," is based on a true story, and is set to stream on Netflix. Based on the extraordinary life on former Los Angeles Dodger Glenn Burke, "Outfielder" is poised to be another welcome addition to fans of sports shows and films. While the series is only in "an early conversation stage," according to Deadline, we have some knowledge of what the project would entail.

When will we see Outfielder?

As "Outfielder" has yet to get off the ground, we won't know a release date for quite some time. With so many moving pieces involved in creating a television show, it can take some time to even start filming. The show's home on Netflix, however, is already solidified — it would be part of Ryan Murphy's $300 million producing deal signed with the streaming giant in February 2018. So far, the deal has produced hit shows like "Hollywood," "The Politician," "Ratched," "Halston," and teen film "The Prom."

Massive production houses, including Netflix, seem to finally be getting ahead of the backlog of projects created by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Murphy currently has a staggering eight shows and films in post-production, pre-production, or currently filming, including the hotly-anticipated Jeffrey Dahmer mini-series (via Murphy's IMDb). Therefore, it's likely the busy producer won't be keen to start anything else right away. However, with his enormous talent and evident work ethic, we can't imagine we'll have to wait too long for "Outfielder" to hit Netflix. 

Who is cast in Outfielder?

"Outfielder" is far away from its casting stage. The series' focus, Glenn Burke, began his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers at age 19 in 1977 and died in 1995. Therefore, it's possible that Netflix would want to cast two different actors to play Burke at different ages. However, with advancements in age-changing CGI and talented makeup artistry, it's possible an older actor could play a younger character, or vice versa. Other characters likely to be involved in the series would be Burke's teammates, including Dusty Baker. 

As anyone who's seen Ryan Murphy's projects knows, he has a team of actors with whom he frequently works. Glenn Burke was a Black man, so it's possible Murphy would call upon one of his former collaborators like Sterling K. Brown, Cuba Gooding Jr., or Dyllon Burnside. Murphy has also often cast newcomers in his projects, so it's really anyone's guess who would get the starring role.

What is Outfielder about?

Glenn Burke was an incredible person who has many "firsts" to his name." Interestingly, he is credited with creating the high five. On October 7, 1977, Burke's teammate, Dusty Baker, hit his 30th home run during the last game of the regular season, a remarkable feat for any baseball player. Burke ran out to the field to congratulate his teammate and lifted his open hand above his head. Unsure what to do, Baker slapped it — and thus the high five was born (via This Week in Texas).

It's hard to imagine baseball (or any sport, really) without congratulatory high fives, but Burke's contributions to Major League baseball were even greater than a simple hand gesture: He was the first openly gay player in the MLB. Unfortunately, homophobia among management and his fellow players made Burke's career more difficult, and he eventually retired from the MLB in 1980. In 1982, he came out to the world at large in an Inside Sports article (via The Atlantic). Sadly, Burke struggled with drug addiction and homelessness, and in 1995, he died from AIDS-related complications. 

Burke's legacy in Major League Baseball is significant and spans across generations. His life is certainly television-worthy, and we look forward to seeing it on Netflix sometime in the future.