MINNEAPOLIS - Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today that Major League Baseball has appointed former Major League outfielder Billy Bean as a consultant who will serve as the game's first "Ambassador for Inclusion." The announcement was made during MLB's All-Star Week festivities in the Twin Cities, for which Selig and Bean were accompanied by Lutha Burke, the sister of the late, former Major League outfielder Glenn Burke.
In this new capacity, Bean will provide guidance and training related to efforts to support those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community throughout Major League Baseball. He will work with Major and Minor League Clubs to encourage equal opportunity in accordance with the joint MLB-MLBPA Workplace Code of Conduct. Bean also will develop educational training initiatives against sexism, homophobia and prejudice and will present at annual industry events, including the Winter Meetings and the MLB-MLBPA Rookie Career Development Program.
"Major League Baseball is delighted that Billy, a member of the baseball family, will advise and represent our sport on a wide range of matters," Commissioner Selig said. "As a social institution, our game has important social responsibilities. To this day, the vibrant legacy of Jackie Robinson revolves around inclusion, respect and equal opportunity. I believe that Billy will help us proactively cultivate those fundamental principles, and he will serve as a significant resource to our Clubs, current and future players and many others throughout our game."
Bean said: "MLB continues to lead by example with its social conscience and vision. It is our mission to create an equitable working environment, free of discrimination and prejudice for every player, coach, umpire, and member of the MLB family. As a young man, I silently walked away from baseball for all the wrong reasons, and today I am truly humbled that the Commissioner's Office has brought me back to lead the effort on inclusion. I will honor baseball's great tradition, and be the resource that our current and future players need as they embrace their responsibility as role models to our fans."
Bean was a Major Leaguer for parts of six seasons, playing from 1987-1989 and 1993-1995. The Loyola Marymount University product played for the Detroit Tigers (1987-89), the Los Angeles Dodgers (1989) and the San Diego Padres (1993-95). He hit .260 with five home runs and 32 RBI for the Padres in 1993. Bean, 50, lives and works in his native California.