Two minor league baseball teams are holding their first LGBT Pride Nights this season, a sign that the promotional events are being held more frequently in the lower divisions of the sport.
The Great Lakes Loons in Midland, Michigan, will hold its event May 31 when they play the West Michigan Nightcaps. The event is being co-sponsored by GLAD, the LGBT employees group of Dow Chemical. The Loons, a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate in the Midwest League, play at Dow Diamond.
"It's another opportunity for the Loons to connect with our fans and have our ballpark act as a community gathering place," said Tiffany Wardynski, Loons vice president of baseball operations.
In Pennsylvania, the York Revolution will have its LGBTQ Pride Night June 14 against the New Britain Bees. The Revolution play in the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
Former MLB pitcher Joe Valentine will headline a ceremony before the Revs honor LGBTQ leaders and LGBTQ members of the armed forces.
“I have been a lifelong ambassador to the LGBT community, having been raised since birth by lesbians,” Valentine, an ambassador for the LGBTQ ally nonprofit Athlete Ally, said in a news release. “The world needs more understanding and patience and less hate and ignorance, and I hope I can help with spreading the word.”
Pride Nights have become a staple of many Major League Baseball teams and it good to see more and more minor league teams do the same. During Pride Month, 11 MLB teams will host LGBT-themed events.