Denson receives MiLB Presidential Citation

Denson receives MiLB Presidential Citation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The first openly gay player in affiliated baseball is also the first active player to be awarded Minor League Baseball's Presidential Citation. Brewers farmhand David Denson was on hand to accept the honor Monday from Minor League president Pat O'Conner during the formal opening session of the Winter Meetings.

The annual citations recognize exemplary service on behalf of MiLB.

"It's an honor getting this award," Denson said. "I told myself coming out here, getting this award is not only for myself but also others out there who are going through the same thing. This is not something I feel I'm taking on for myself. I feel like this is something that will touch other players who are going through the same situation and stands for something bigger than myself."

Denson was flanked at the ceremony by friend and advisor Billy Bean, Major League Baseball's ambassador for inclusion. Bean consulted closely with Denson in the months leading up to Denson's coming out in August as the first openly gay player with a team affiliated with MLB.

"It felt amazing, like I'm being respected in the game," Denson said of the reception he received Monday. "I've always said there's a difference for me in being accepted and respected. I've always just wanted to be respected. I feel like I'm finally getting that.

"It's a feeling I can't really describe, something that I thought I'd never get to experience."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.