Billy Bean Turns 45
Billy Bean, the former major league ballplayer who announced his homosexuality four years after his playing career ended in 1995, turns 45 today. He hit .226 in a career that saw him play for the Tigers, Dodgers, and Padres. When Bean came out in 1999, he was just the second former player to acknowledge his homosexuality, following the lead of former Los Angeles Dodger and Oakland Athletic Glenn Burke.
Bean went on to write about his story in a book titled Going the Other Way: Lessons from a life in and out of major-league baseball. He toured the country and visited LGBT centers to discuss his book and field questions from the audience about his story. I had the opportunity to attend one of these and meet him, telling him my story in professional sports, and found him to be really engaging and enlightening.
Sports fans salute you for giving us a peek at the other side.
Wishing you a very happy 45th birthday, Billy! Let's leave him some birthday wishes in the comments section.
By Chase Parker