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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Outsports: A gay former Minor League pitcher talks about life in pro baseball’s closet

“I felt like it was time and I wasn’t afraid of the unknown any more. I felt like people needed to know,” Dillinger, 39, said about his decision to come out. He contacted Outsports after reading about the public coming out of Kevin McClatchy, former owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and was happy to share his story.

Ironically, Dillinger – from Connellsville, Pa., just southeast of Pittsburgh – was playing for the Pirates’ Minor League system when McClatchy bought the team in 1996. He knew a woman who was dating McClatchy at the time and she suspected the owner might be gay; hearing it confirmed this September “inspired and thrilled” Dillinger.

“What some people do not understand is that it takes considerable courage to reveal your true self and to not worry about what others may think of you, especially in professional sports,” Dillinger said. “Whether it’s as a player or executive, the unknown is what really keeps some of us in the closet. I’m very proud of Kevin and I wish he and his partner the best for years to come.”

...He also offers advice to any player considering coming out:

“My advice to a player who would decide to come out is to talk to one of your closest teammates first. If they are understanding and accepting like they should be, continue further and let the whole team know.

“I 100% believe that most of your teammates will respect you even more if you are honest with them. Baseball as well as all major sports have come a long way as far as not tolerating bigoted behavior and homophobic slurs. There have been quite a few examples recently. Successful athletes have one thing in common which helps make them successful: NO FEAR. This should be no different.”

Thanks to Steve.

Repoz Posted: October 24, 2012 at 05:24 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: October 24, 2012 at 07:51 AM (#4281300)
(Not that) John Dillinger.
   2. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4281347)
Very interesting piece.

Props to Dillinger for having the courage to come out. I hope he and his partner have a long and happy life together.
   3. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:25 AM (#4281352)
Yes, great piece. He seems particularly well-grounded. Good for him.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4281364)
hearing it confirmed this September “inspired and thrilled” Dillinger.


All the more reason powerful and famous people should come out.
   5. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 24, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4281373)
Except for Rush Limbaugh, he needs to stay in the closet. If he comes out, nobody is gong to be happy.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: October 24, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4281376)
As a preemptive measure, alloy me to say:

Ray, if you're tired, take a nap.

Good for Mr. Dillinger. May some active big leaguer soon follow his lead.

   7. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 24, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4281378)
All the more reason powerful and famous people should come out.

I'm not gay and thus have no real right to comment here, but honestly it strikes me as such an intensely personal decision to come out that I think it's a bit unfair to say famous people who are closeted should come out. I would think they should come out when they are good and ready and not a moment beforehand.
   8. spycake Posted: October 24, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4281424)
All the more reason powerful and famous people should come out.

I'm not gay and thus have no real right to comment here, but honestly it strikes me as such an intensely personal decision to come out that I think it's a bit unfair to say famous people who are closeted should come out.

I don't think he meant famous people who are closeted. I think he meant all famous people should come out, regardless of their actual orientation. :)
   9. Ray (CTL) Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4281443)
As a preemptive measure, alloy me to say:

Ray, if you're tired, take a nap.


Number of times I get accused of making a thread about myself: Countless.

Number of threads I make about myself: Zero.

Number of threads other people make about me: Countless.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4281462)
Damn, I suppose your trademark "yawn" would have been preferable to that whiny ass crap.

Back to the FA, I think his advice is pretty sound, and what I've long suspected. Provided the guy is already respected in the clubhouse, I think most teammates will be supportive of a gay teammate.
   11. geonose Posted: October 24, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4281647)
I did not need to be left with the particular mental image of Jim Leyland that the article leaves with me.
   12. AJMcCringleberry Posted: October 24, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4281686)
Damn, I suppose your trademark "yawn" would have been preferable to that whiny ass crap.

Except it's true.

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