Melissa Rose Bernardo
April 18, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Going the Other Way

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Billy Bean, Chris Bull
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it a B+

It’s no secret that ex-big leaguer Bean (not to be confused with the Oakland A’s’ brash GM, Billy Beane) bats for, well, the other team. After trading cleats for companionship (a dashing Cuban named Efrain), Bean outed himself in a 1999 Miami Herald profile. Now the once-promising outfielder tells a remarkable story of his unremarkable career — a paltry .227 average in the majors — and his wrenching struggle with his sexuality. Bean does give us a glimpse of the all-American game’s ultra-hetero atmosphere: ”It wasn’t enough to be a stud first baseman or slugger. You had to…screw the most women, show off the biggest d — -, and drink the most beer.” Macho fans may mock this coming-out tale, but Bean’s candor, self-effacing humor, and brutal honesty will win him some new ones.

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