The contributions to Major League Baseball of gay ex-player Billy Bean and current umpire Dale Scott are part of an exhibit in Cincinnati timed to coincide with next week’s All-Star Game being held there.
“Diversity in Baseball” will run through Sept. 12 at Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. It features players who helped break barriers in baseball, including African Americans, Latinos, Jews and women. It does not neglect sexual orientation, with displays honoring Bean and Scott.
“We designed the exhibit to celebrate barrier-breakers in making baseball a more inclusive game, first and foremost,” Gina K. Armstrong of the museum told Outsports. “When we made the decision to include umpires, we searched for people who fit that mold and found the Referee article with Dale. We thought this was the perfect way to include an out contributor, since there are no active out players in MLB (we will most likely be incorporating [minor leaguer] Sean Conroy later in the exhibit).”
Bean was not out while playing for the Tigers, Dodgers and Padres from 1987-95. He now works for Major League Baseball as its ambassador for inclusion. Scott was out within baseball for years, but gave his first public interview to Outsports last December.
If you are in Cincinnati this summer, this exhibit looks like a must-see. Here are the panels devoted to Bean and Scott, courtesy of Jesse Kramer, the center’s Art Director.
When I met Scott this June, he was thrilled to be part of the exhibit and it was further proof that he did the right thing by coming out publicly. He loved the wall graphic that accompanies his section (taken from a game photo):