Among those in a Mets uniform this morning at spring training was Billy Bean, former player and Major League Baseball's first ever Ambassador for Inclusion. The Mets are one of a few teams that have invited the openly gay Bean to their complex at to speak to players about acceptance in baseball. According to beat writer Mike Vorkunov of the Star-Ledger, general manager Sandy Alderson even thought about having Bean play in a spring training game as a sign of solidarity.
Bean, 51, spent six seasons at the major league level as a backup outfielder. Throughout his career, he accumulated 487 at-bats with the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the San Diego Padres, with five home runs. In 1999, he became the second MLB player ever to have revealed his homosexuality, after the late Glenn Burke. Bean's book, Going the Other Way: Lessons from a Life in and out of Major League Baseball, recounted his experience as a gay professional baseball player.
As the topic of inclusion gradually becomes a prominent point of focus in major sports, it's great to see the Mets take the initiative and set a good example for the rest of the league.