Gay Baseball Players Update. It’s been four years since this post. Given how most of America, the sporting world included, have come to embrace the LGBT community, we think it is ripe for an update especially because some baseball players — albeit none from the Major League — have come out in the closet. Let’s add the following to our list of gay baseballers:
Jason Burch, pitcher for minor league teams (Johnson City Cardinals, Peoria Chiefs, GCL Orioles, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and more): He came out in this year in an interview with outsports.com.
Here’s what he says about playing in the minor leagues: “Anyone who has played with me and has been in the bullpen with me knows I’m not afraid to talk about sex or gay rights or feminism or anything that some people might consider academic. I was interested in seeing how they handled it and what they thought about it.”
He adds: “Looking back, I wish I had told the whole world that I’m gay from day one. That feeling of being relied upon, that people must turn to you as a closer to make things right, to have that role – and to have people have that feeling about me in that role – as a gay man, I think that would have been a powerful message.”
John Dillinger, pitcher in the minor league for teams such as the GCL Pirates, Lynchburg Hillcats, Syracuse SkyChiefs, and Elmira Pioneers. He came out in 2007, two years after his last year playing in the minor leagues. His former teammates have been supportive.
John tells us more about being a gay baseballer and has some words of advice to about coming out to athletes who are planning to (via outsports.com): “Playing 162 games a year, you spend a lot of time with your teammates. You spend more time with them than with your own family and friends. Teams that are close-knit and get along are usually the ones that have better results. Therefore, being up front and honest with your teammates about who you are and what you are about will garner more respect from your teammates.”
Dillinger adds: “My advice to a player who would decide to come out is to talk to one of your closest teammates first. If they are understanding and accepting like they should be, continue further and let the whole team know. I 100-percent believe that most of your teammates will respect you even more if you are honest with them.”
UPDATE: Gay Pro Baseball Players
25 July 2011
That’s a really gay photo we published in our original post below but let’s talk about gay professional baseball players, shall we?
First let’s start with gay baseball player rumors like this one from the New York Daily News: “Athlete is a Switch Hitter: Which baseball heartthrob may be playing for the other team? He secretly slides into bed with Florida fellas.”
But who needs rumors when there are actually some baseball players who came out? By some, we mean actually just two of them: William Daro “Billy” Bean who played for the Detroit Tigers, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the San Diego Padres during a major league career that spanned from 1987 to 1995 and Glenn Burke who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics.
Burke has earned the distinction as the first, and so far the only, baseball star (and maybe the only one in team sports) to acknowledge his homosexuality while still playing actively.
He is reported to have made this awesome statement which every gay man in sports should take to heart: “They can’t ever say now that a gay man can’t play in the majors, because I’m a gay man and I made it.”
If you want to know more about Glenn Burke, you should check out his autobiography, Out at Home: The Glenn Burke Story.
Billy Bean is the second Major League Baseball athlete to have come out as a gay man. His coming out story in 1999 or four years after he retired from baseball made it to the front page of The New York Times.
Like Burke, Billy also wrote a book about his life as a gay ball player entitled Going the Other Way: Lessons from a life in and out of Major League Baseball.
What is he doing now? Well, he occasionally appears on television. We loved seeing him on Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D-List. Apparently, he is (or was) a real estate agent so he showed Kathy some homes in Florida.
His IMDB profile tells us that he had a gig in the TV show Frasier and that he also appeared in several TV documentaries and a short movie.
Baseball is So Gay!
05 August 2009
An old photo of baseball stars Derek “Boner” Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Alex Gonzalez, Rey Ordonez, and Edgar Renteria looking like they’re in a gay bathhouse or something. They should have included the Speedo wearing Gabe Kapler.