Major League Baseball umpire Dale Scott comes out as gay

Dale Scott
Dale Scott Orlin Wagner, AP (File)

 Scott has been an MLB umpire since 1986. He worked the World Series in 1998, 2001 and 2004, has called three All-Star games and plenty of playoff matchups, including the NL series between St. Louis and the Dodgers in October.

“He’s an excellent crew chief and umpire,” MLB umpire Dan Iassogna told the AP.

“But above all, he’s been a true friend to my family and me. I’ve always been proud to walk with him, but never more proud than today,” he said.

No big league player or manager has been openly gay during their active career. Glenn Burke and Billy Bean are among the players who later said they were gay, as did umpire Dave Pallone.

Scott said he understood coming out “might open a Pandora’s box” when he takes the field next year.

“We’ll see when the season starts if this is still an issue,” he said. “I suspect no.”

In the immediate aftermath of the story becoming public, Scott said his cell phone and email “blew up” with messages.

“They all were all positive, except for one. I know that’s going to happen, I understand it,” he said.

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Scott met Rausch, an artist, after the 1986 season at a bar in Portland, Oregon. The two now split time between Portland and Palm Springs. When they married, the mayor of Palm Springs officiated the ceremony.

Rausch is listed as Scott’s domestic partner with MLB. The latest contract between the umpires’ union and MLB took effect in 2010 and permitted umps to include domestic partners to allow them to receive benefits.

Scott said only once in his career has a player asked if he was gay, and that was through a mutual acquaintance, who brushed off the question.

“I’m not saying there aren’t players on teams who haven’t heard things or might’ve had an idea,” he said. “But no one’s ever brought it up to me, or said anything about it to me while yelling at me for calling strike three.”

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