NEW YORK — Major League Baseball umpire Dale Scott says he is gay, the latest such disclosure in sports.
The 55-year-old told the website Outsports.com he married Michael Rausch in November 2013 and that MLB and the other umpires were aware of his sexuality.
Scott has been a member of the big league staff since 1986 and is a crew chief. He worked the World Series in 1998, 2001 and 2004.
Scott said he made a deliberate decision to go public in a low-key manner without “some banner headline.”
“That’s not how I operate,” he was quoted as saying by Outsports. “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.”
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig praised Scott.
“To his friends and colleagues throughout the game, Dale is universally regarded as a class act,” he said in a statement. “All of us at Major League Baseball are very proud of him, just as we have always been.”
Scott provided Referee magazine a photo of himself with Rausch going to last year’s opening series in Sydney. The caption in the October issue stated: “He and his longtime companion, Michael Rausch, traveled to Australia for the 2014 season opener between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers.”
“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,” Scott said in a story posted by Outsports on Tuesday. “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.”
Scott’s decision to go public follows that of others in sports.
—Basketball center Jason Collins became the first openly gay player in one of the major North American professional leagues in April 2013. He announced his retirement last month at age 35.
—Defensive end Michael Sam, the Southeastern Conference’s 2013 co-defensive player of the year, came out in February. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams with the 249th pick in May, cut in August, signed by Dallas for its practice squad, then released by the Cowboys in October.
—Midfielder Robbie Rogers announced he was gay in February 2013 following his release from Leeds in England. He signed with Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy that May and has revived his career this year with a move to defender.
—University of Massachusetts junior guard Derrick Gordon became the first openly gay player in Division I men’s basketball in April. He made his announcement on ESPN and Outsports.
—Other out professional players include WNBA stars Brittney Griner and Seimone Augustus and National Women’s Soccer League players Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe.