MLB picks former OF Billy Bean as 'Ambassador for Inclusion' to strive for gay-friendly game

The Associated Press

Former major league outfielder Billy Bean, left, Lutha Burke and Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, right, pose for a photo after a news conference at baseball's All-Star game, Tuesday, July 15, 2014, in Minneapolis. Major League Baseball has appointed Bean, who came out as gay after his playing career, to serve as a consultant in guiding the sport toward greater inclusion and equality. Burke is the sister of Glenn Burke, who was the first MLB player to come out as gay after retiring. Burke died in 1995. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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By DAVE CAMPBELL, AP Sports Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Major League Baseball has appointed former outfielder Billy Bean, who came out as gay after his playing career, to serve as a consultant in guiding the sport toward greater inclusion and equality.

Commissioner Bud Selig made the announcement Tuesday before the All-Star game.

Joining Bean and Selig at a news conference was Lutha Burke, the sister of Glenn Burke, who was the first MLB player to come out as gay after retiring. Burke died in 1995.

Bean will provide guidance and training related to efforts designed to support the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community throughout baseball. He'll work with players and front office personnel through the major and minor leagues.

Bean played for Detroit, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego over parts of six seasons and hit .226. He dedicated his autobiography to Burke.

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