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August 9, 2014

Remembers 'the darkest time of my life, when I was afraid to ask for help' and doesn't want any others to go through the same

Billy Bean quit pro baseball in 1996 unable to cope with playing in the big leagues and being a closeted gay man.

A year earlier, he had watched his partner die of HIV-related causes and went on to play in a game for the San Diego Padres on the same day. He didn't tell his teammates or anyone else.

Flash-forward 18 years and Bean is back in the game in Major League Baseball's newly-created job of Ambassador for Inclusion.

July 16, 2014

Announcement comes as MLB also pays tribute to the late Glenn Burke who was out to his teammates in 70s and 80s

Major League Baseball on Tuesday (15 July) announced the appointment of former outfielder Billy Bean as the league's first Ambassador for Inclusion.

The announcement came prior to the league's All-Star Game in Minneapolis at a press conference that also included a tribute to the late Glenn Burke, a player who suffered greatly for being out to his teammates and coaches in the late 70s and early 80s.

Burke was recognized posthumously by the league as the sport's gay pioneer.

July 5, 2013

'There was no avenue for me. Nobody was even on the Internet yet'

In recent months, pro soccer's Robbie Rogers and pro basketball's Jason Collins came out publicly as gay man and are contining with their playing careers.

For retired baseball pro Billy Bean, that would have been unthinkable.

December 31, 2011

Retired gay Major League Baseball star Billy Bean says 'It's going to take maybe just one special guy who can really move that ball forward'

As 2011 draws to a close, the major U.S. professional sports of football, basketball and baseball still have never had an active male player declare that they are gay.

There are still only handful who have even done so in retirement.

Among them is retired baseball pro Billy Bean who played for San Diego Padres, Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Dodgers during the 90s and came out publicly in the 2003 memoir Going The Other Way.

December 31, 2011

Retired gay Major League Baseball star Billy Bean says 'It's going to take maybe just one special guy who can really move that ball forward'

As 2011 draws to a close, the major U.S. professional sports of football, basketball and baseball still have never had an active male player declare that they are gay.

There are still only handful who have even done so in retirement.

Among them is retired baseball pro Billy Bean who played for San Diego Padres, Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Dodgers during the 90s and came out publicly in the 2003 memoir Going The Other Way.