Billy Bean

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Billy Bean
Billy Bean Spirit Day 2016-10-20 at Dodger Stadium 3.jpg
Bean on Spirit Day 2016,[1] at Dodger Stadium
Born: (1964-05-11) May 11, 1964 (age 59)
Santa Ana, California
Batted: Left
Threw: Left
Professional debut
MLB: April 25, 1987, for the Detroit Tigers
NPB: 1992, for the Kintetsu Buffaloes
Last appearance
MLB: July 8, 1995, for the San Diego Padres
NPB: 1992, for the Kintetsu Buffaloes
MLB statistics
Batting average.226
Home runs5
Runs batted in53

William Daro Bean (born May 11, 1964) is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as an outfielder for the Detroit Tigers (1987–1989), Los Angeles Dodgers (1989), and San Diego Padres (1993–1995), as well as the Kintetsu Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) in 1992. [2] In July 2014, he was named MLB's first Ambassador for Inclusion.[3] In January 2016, he became MLB's vice president,[4] Ambassador for Inclusion and is currently Senior Vice President and Special Assistant to the Commissioner.[5]

Early life[edit]

Bean's father, Bill Bean, began dating 18 year old Linda Robertson while they were classmates at Santa Ana High School in Santa Ana, California. The couple married while Linda was pregnant, then separated when Billy was six months old. Linda married Ed Kovac, a police officer, and they had five children together.[6]

Playing career[edit]

Bean attended Santa Ana High School,[7] and won a state championship with the school's baseball team. He enrolled at Loyola Marymount University on an athletic scholarship to play college baseball for the Loyola Marymount Lions.[6] After his junior year, the New York Yankees selected Bean in the 24th round of the 1985 MLB Draft.[8] Though the Yankees offered Bean a $55,000 signing bonus, Bean followed through with his promise to return to Loyola Marymount for his senior year.[6] Bean appeared with the Lions in the 1986 College World Series.[9][10]

The Detroit Tigers selected Bean in the fourth round of the 1986 MLB Draft.[9] He signed with the Tigers for $12,500. Bean made his major league debut for the Tigers on April 24, 1987. He spent most of the 1988 season in the minor leagues, where he led the Toledo Mud Hens in batting average;[11][12] however, he played in 10 games for the Tigers after he was promoted in August 1988. He played in nine games for the Tigers in the 1989 season.[6] On July 17, 1989, the Tigers traded Bean to the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor leaguers Steve Green and Domingo Michel.[13] He batted .197 for the Dodgers in 51 games, and was demoted to the minor leagues.[6]

Bean played in Minor League Baseball during the 1990 and 1991 seasons. He played for the Kintetsu Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball in 1992,[6] batting .208 in seven games.[14]Bean signed a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres before the 1993 season, and was promoted back to the major leagues.[10] He batted .260 in 88 games for the Padres in 1993, and .215 in 84 games for the Padres in 1994. After playing for the Padres in 1995, Bean opted to retire from baseball after the 1995 season.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Billy Bean married his college sweetheart when he was 24-years-old.He left the marriage four years later after meeting his partner Sam, an Iranian immigrant who was raised in Austria. Sam later died of HIV-related causes the day before Bean's final MLB season. Bean did not attend the funeral.[6][15]

Bean came out as gay to his parents in 1998. He came out publicly to Lydia Martin of the Miami Herald in 1999, becoming the second Major League Baseball player to publicly come out as gay; Glenn Burke was the first to come out to his teammates and employers during his playing days but did not come out to the public at large until his career was over.[6]

After leaving baseball, Bean moved to Miami Beach, Florida to be with his partner Efrain Veiga, the founder of Yuca restaurant in Miami. Bean and Veiga were together for thirteen years, breaking up in July 2008.[16][17]

In 2003, Bean released a memoir titled Going the Other Way: Lessons from a Life in and out of Major League Baseball.[18]

Bean was appointed MLB's first "Ambassador for Inclusion" on July 15, 2014.[19] In this role, Bean counseled David Denson, who became the first minor league player signed to an MLB organization to come out as gay.[20]

Television appearances[edit]

Bean was a panelist on GSN's I've Got a Secret revival in 2006, and is a board member of the Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation.[21] He appeared in a 2009 episode of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, showing Griffin several homes.[22]

In the summer of 2007, it was announced that he had been hired as a consultant by Scout Productions, the team of David Collins and Michael Williams, who produced Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, for their next project with Showtime entitled The Beard. The project was to be a romantic comedy about a gay professional baseball player who enters into a relationship with a woman in order to survive in the sports world; Showtime did not go forward with the series.[23]

Bean starred in a MTV episode of Made, he was an actor in an episode of the sitcom Frasier[24] and appeared as himself on the HBO series Arli$$ in the 2002 episode "Playing it Safe".

On June 3, 2022, Bean was on a Sportsnet LA television broadcast of the Dodgers' pregame show for Pride Night, in his role as MLB's Ambassador for Inclusion. When Bean mentioned Glenn Burke, the first out gay man in MLB history, whose career was cut short by the Dodgers and other teams because of his orientation, the broadcast cut away. It went back for a moment as Bean could be heard saying "[Burke's] ending was not a happy one," and cut to commercial. The broadcast did not go back to Bean again.


  1. ^ Spirit Day, Retrieved May 18, 2017
  2. ^ "Bill Bean Stats, Fantasy & News". Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  3. ^ "MLB names Bean its first Ambassador for Inclusion". Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  4. ^ Zeigler, Cyd (January 7, 2016). "MLB promotes Billy Bean to vice-president". Outsports. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
  5. ^ "MLB hires Pride as latest Ambassador for Inclusion".
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Lipsyte, Robert (September 6, 1999). "BASEBALL; A Major League Player's Life Of Isolation and Secret Fear". The New York Times. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  7. ^ Coker, Matt (October 6, 2011). "Billy Bean, Pride of Santa Ana High and "Out" Major Leaguer, Rolls With Moneyball Billy Beane Confusion". OC Weekly. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  8. ^ "1985 New York Yankees Picks in the MLB June Amateur Draft -". Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Billy Bean Means Business : Baseball Becomes a Job When Major League Is Within Reach". Los Angeles Times. July 14, 1986. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Former Loyola Marymount Outfielder Bean Is Getting a Chance With Padres". Los Angeles Times. June 27, 1993. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  11. ^ "Mud Hens Yearly Leaders (1965-present)" (PDF). Minor League Baseball. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  12. ^ "Brad Pitt does not play gay Billy Bean in "Moneyball," he plays straight Billy Beane". SB Nation. October 3, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  13. ^ "The Pittsburgh Press - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  14. ^ "1992 Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes". Baseball Reference.
  15. ^ Martin, Lydia (August 5, 1999). "A Fresh Start: Once A Closeted Major League Outfielder, Billy Bean Is Now Finding His Own Voice". Chicago Tribune. Knight Ridder. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  16. ^ Buzinski, Jim (June 29, 2008). "Billy Bean, partner split". OutSports. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
  17. ^ "Bean-Viega Split Accompanied by Tragedy". The Advocate. July 11, 2008. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
  18. ^ Bugg, Sean (May 15, 2003). "Out of the Park: Former pro-baseball player Billy Bean pursues a new field of dreams". Metro Weekly. Retrieved June 11, 2014.. Written by Billy Bean with Chris Bull; published New York: Marlowe & Company, 2003.
  19. ^ Maury Brown. "MLB Names Former Major League Outfielder Billy Bean As First". Forbes. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  20. ^ Tom Haudricourt. "Brewers minor-leaguer makes baseball history by coming out publicly as gay". Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  21. ^ "Major League Baseball's Billy Bean Joins MMPW as National Spokesman". March 10, 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  22. ^ "Meet Billy Bean, Major League Baseball's Gay Rights Ambassador". Details. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  23. ^ "Showtime looking at The Beard". July 31, 2007. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  24. ^ "Billy Bean (I)". IMDb.

External links[edit]