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MLB names Billy Bean consultant for inclusion

Billy Bean, who cut short his professional career

Billy Bean, who cut short his professional career in 1995 and revealed his gay lifestyle two years later, believed he had to keep his secret to keep playing. "In men's sports, there's no choice." Photo Credit: AP / David Vance

MINNEAPOLIS - 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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