NEW YORK — Dale Scott figures he’ll hear plenty of foul language from angry hitters next season. Such is life for a Major League Baseball umpire.
“They’ll still yell at me when a 3-2 slider doesn’t break their way,” he told The Associated Press. “But they’ll be yelling at me because they didn’t like my call, not because I’m a gay umpire.”
Two weeks after Jason Collins retired as the NBA’s first openly gay player, Scott added his name Tuesday to a growing list of gay and lesbian sports figures taking similar public steps. St. Louis Rams draft pick Michael Sam, NBA official Violet Palmer and WNBA star Brittney Griner are among those who have come out in recent years.
Scott didn’t want to make a huge announcement heading into his 30th big league season.
The trade magazine Referee did a profile on the veteran crew chief in October, and didn’t mention his sexuality. But the 55-year-old Scott wanted to share an important part of his life, and made the choice to include a picture of himself with partner Michael Rausch. They married in November 2013 in Palm Springs, California.
The caption in Referee said: “He and his longtime companion, Michael Rausch, traveled to Australia for the 2014 season opener between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers.”
The website Outsports.com later interviewed Scott and posted its story Tuesday.
Article continues below“It’s not like this was a secret. Major League Baseball knew my situation and it hasn’t had any effect on my career. Zero bearing,” Scott told the AP. “My fellow umpires have known for a long time.”
“When I was home or out socially, I was gay,” he said. “In my professional life, I wasn’t. At least, not officially.”
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig praised Scott.
“To his friends and colleagues throughout the game, Dale is universally regarded as a class act,” he said in a statement. “All of us at Major League Baseball are very proud of him, just as we have always been.”