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First ever professional baseballer comes out

By Will Stroude

Sean Conroy has become the USA’s first ever professional baseballer to come out publicly.

The 23-year-old Sonoma Stompers pitcher took to the field yesterday (June 25) after coming out out to mark the team’s stadium gay pride night, Sportsnet reports.


Several professional baseballers have come out publicly after retiring, but Conroy is the first active player to do so. The Stompers are part of the  independent Pacific Association of Baseball Clubs.

The New Yorker joined the California team from the college leagues in May, and had already told his team mates that he was gay, said general manager Theo Fightmaster.

“The first conversation I had with Sean was, ‘I want you to know this organization supports you, we respect who you are,” Fightmaster said.

“His goal has always been to be the first openly gay baseball player, so he was very much in favour of telling the story, of carrying that torch.”

Conroy explained that he had been out to his family since he was 16, and wouldn’t have considered keeping his sexuality a secret following his move to the team.

“It’s not that I wanted it to go public, but I didn’t care if it was open information. It’s who I am,” he said. “I am definitely surprised that no one else has been openly gay in baseball yet.”

He added: “People would talk about their girlfriends and who they were going out to see that night. Instead of getting the different looks or questions when I didn’t join them, I’d rather tell you the truth and let you know who I am and have real conversations instead of the fake ones,” Conroy said.

The team has announced that some Stompers players will wear rainbow-themed socks or symbols to mark the occasion.

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