Outsports profiles first openly gay MLB umpire Dale Scott

As a Major League Baseball umpire for the past 29 seasons, Dale Scott has worked three World Series, three All-Star Games, two no-hitters and numerous playoff games.  He is also the first Major League Baseball umpire to publicly say he is gay while active, and the first out male official active in the MLB, NBA, NHL, or NFL.

In October, which happens to be LGBT History Month, Scott was profiled in Referee magazine, a subscription-only publication with 45,000 readers. As part of the in-depth look at his 29 year career, article author Peter Jackel delved into his past career as a disc jockey and interviewed Scott's childhood friends from Eugene, Oregon. The first piece about his private life since his career began, Scott decided to come out quietly, in the form of a photo for the article of himself and his partner of 28 years, Michael Rausch.

Scott told Outsports, "My thought process was, is that there's this story about my career and how I got started in umpiring and they're talking to people I have known since junior high and it didn't seem right to have a whole story and pictures without a picture of Mike and I, someone who's been with me through this entire process."

Scott continued:

"Obviously, when I sent that picture to Jeff, I knew exactly what it meant. In a small way, this was opening that door in a publication that wasn't going to be circulated nationwide. It could be picked up, but it's not Time magazine. I made that decision to go ahead and do it because I felt it was the right thing to do.

"I realized that it could open a Pandora's Box, but this is not a surprise to Major League Baseball, the people I work for. It's not a surprise to the umpire staff. Until Mike and I got married last November, he was my same-sex domestic partner and had his own MLB I.D. and was on my insurance policy. 

"This is not going to be some huge flashing news to Park Avenue [MLB headquarters], but I also didn't want to be making some coming out story, some banner headline, because that's not how I operate. It's not a shock to MLB management because they're well aware of my situation and it's not a shock to the umpire staff. If it would have been, I don't think I would have done it.

I am extremely grateful that Major League Baseball has always judged me on my work and nothing else and that's the way it should be."

Scott's decision to come out and acknowledge his longtime partner publicly, beyond his place of employment, is an important step for sports and LGBT issues in America.

You can read the rest of Jim Buzinski's in-depth story and interview with Scott at Outsports