Baseball’s World Collection is now not simply the Fall Traditional because it’s all the time been recognized. This 12 months’s match-up ought to as a substitute be judged as one in every of two “exemplary LGBTQ-friendly groups,” says SB Nation Outsports author Ken Schultz. The followers of each groups are winners as a result of each franchises are aggressively catering to their respective LGBTQ fan bases and communities.
Schultz introduces his alphabet-friendly puff piece by writing, “The 2020 World Collection has come all the way down to the 2 greatest groups in baseball: the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays. Fortunately, that’s not simply on the sphere. As every group’s current historical past demonstrates, the Dodgers and Rays are each top-of-the-line franchises in terms of uplifting their respective LGBTQ fan bases and communities.”
Awarding LGBTQ alphabet factors to every group in separate break-downs, Schultz started with the Dodgers. And he doesn’t dwell on L.A.’s mighty pitcher Clayton Kershaw or sluggers Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger. Not when the Dodgers’ outreach to the LGBTQ neighborhood is so deep and gifted. It is a mannequin for the remainder of MLB, Schultz relates.
The Dodgers have been one of many first baseball groups succumbing to strain to characteristic Pleasure Nights, hosting what is believed to be the first Gay and Lesbian Night in August of 2000.
Credit score for the genius of the Dodgers Pleasure Evening goes to L.A.’s gay Senior Vice President Eric Braverman. He made the promotion a showcase to roll out the purple carpet in honor of its LGBTQ fan base, together with out-of-the-closet celebrities like Glee’s Dot Marie Jones, Olympian Gus Kenworthy and others. Los Angeles shattered a serious league file — not for any hitting or pitching hallmarks — however by selling 12,000 Pride Night ticket packages in 2019. Cooperstown, did you catch that?
Schultz raves concerning the Dodgers’ activism going properly past an annual Pleasure Evening. They’ve sponsored the final two Outsports Pride occasions, and final week they invited gay and former outfielder Billy Bean, present vp and particular assistant to the commissioner, to talk to their entrance workplace on Spirit Day.
Ring up these alphabet factors, however there’s extra the place all that got here from! In 2018, the Dodgers “made the LGBTQ equal of the Mookie Betts commerce” by including lesbian former tennis nice Billie Jean King (at left in above photo) and her partner Ilana Kloss (at proper in picture) as minority house owners. 40,000 fortunate followers acquired King bobblehead dolls to rejoice the massive occasion.
The sheer quantity of LGBTQ positivity from the Dodgers is downright daunting, Schultz raves.
For the Rays, we will dispense with on-field stars Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow and Brandon Lowe and deal with the group’s glowing satisfaction file.
Final season, Tampa’s lesbian Mayor Jane Castor, threw out the primary pitch at a recreation. “The Rays additionally commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall by displaying a particular historic exhibit concerning the riots along side Equality Florida,” Schultz gushed.
In 2015, the Rays have been one of many three professional sports activities groups that signed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of marriage equality. That was the 12 months the Excessive Courtroom usurped the legislative course of by forcing same-sex marriage on all the nation. In 2019, the Rays and San Francisco Giants supported an amicus transient in help of LGBTQ rights within the office.
Schultz remembers that final 12 months’s World Collection was a narrative of fine information/dangerous information. The profitable Washington Nationals have been extremely LGBTQ pleasant, however the dropping Houston Astros “did not even hassle to host a Pleasure Evening.”
The Rays and Dodgers each should be celebrated for a way they’ve embraced their LGBTQ followers, Schultz says. “Let’s hope we will preserve saying that about each Fall Traditional sooner or later.”