clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Out gay Washington Nationals staffer Steve Reed has died

New, comments

Nationals honor Reed with moment of silence

Washington Nationals staffer Steve Reed was a positive force at the Nationals.

Washington Nationals staffer Steve Reed died in his sleep last Thursday, May 11. He was 50.

Reed was one of the few front-office executives in Major League Baseball to talk publicly about being LGBT in the sport. He first shared his thoughts in an Outsports article from 2015, in which he pointed to the same welcoming sports environment that so many other out LGBT people in sports have described.

"People still perceive that Major League Baseball teams are close-minded organizations," Reed said at the time. "That's not the case at all. You see a lot of diversity in color and sexual orientation."

The Nationals remembered Reed with a moment of silence and a thoughtful video.

"The news of Steve's sudden passing has left me numb and heartbroken,” MLB vice president Billy Bean told Outsports. “He was a tremendous role model throughout MLB. Over the past 2 years he and I often worked together, and I will miss him tremendously. My thoughts are with the entire Washington Nationals organization."

Greg Bader of the Baltimore Orioles, who is also publicly out, remembered Reed’s energy.

“Among the many attributes I most admired was Steve's willingness to take risks and try new things. He encouraged me to come out of my comfort zone and truly experience the moment. The one comfort I have is that Steve probably had few, if any, regrets, because if he wanted to try something, he would go for it.”

Bader sent Outsports a lengthy memoriam of Reed, which we have posted below.

Former college baseball player Ben Larison remembered Reed’s generosity:

“I will always remember telling him how excited I was that my boyfriend was coming to visit me from his semester in Chicago. Steve knew I was a broke college student sharing a bunk bed with another student so he surprised us by purchasing us a four-star hotel room for the weekend in DuPont Circle. Steve was the type of person we all strive to be.”

Larison also sent extended remarks, which we have included below.

A celebration of Reed’s life will be held in Washington DC at JR’s on June 12 at 5pm. Guests are asked to wear a bow tie, Sweater vest or favorite Converse sneakers, as they were favorites of Reed.

Ben Larison remembers Steve Reed:

In the fall of 2015, I spent a semester interning in Washington, DC. About a week after being there, I met Steve at a Baltimore Orioles game and we instantly hit it off and became great friends. Steve was one of the reasons I had such an amazing four months in DC. He was one of the sweetest and most generous people I've ever encountered and did so much for me while I was there.

I will always remember telling him how excited I was that my boyfriend was coming to visit me from his semester in Chicago. Steve knew I was a broke college student sharing a bunk bed with another student so he surprised us by purchasing us a four-star hotel room for the weekend in DuPont Circle. Steve was the type of person we all strive to be.

Between hanging out with him at as many Nationals games as possible, Sunday fun days, and weekend escapades, I will forever cherish the many memories Steve and I made together. Words can't express just how much I will miss him.

Greg Bader remembers Steve Reed:

Steve was the type of person anyone would hope to be. Thoughtful and caring, Steve always stood up for equality and the important principles in which he believed.

Steve had the uncanny ability to live in the moment and squeeze every ounce of enjoyment out of life. I'd only known him for a couple years, but I feel as though we managed to create a lifetime of memories together. When you were with Steve, he was always present and giving you 100 percent of his attention. His smile was infectious, and no matter the circumstances, it was hard not to have an amazing time while in his presence.

Among the many attributes I most admired was Steve's willingness to take risks and try new things. He encouraged me to come out of my comfort zone and truly experience the moment. The one comfort I have is that Steve probably had few, if any, regrets, because if he wanted to try something, he would go for it.

And Steve was not afraid to express and verbalize his emotions. Just this week in an email exchange, he told me how glad he was to know me. That was Steve... making sure his friends and those he cared about always knew how he felt.

I cannot adequately express how fortunate I was to have gotten to know Steve, and I only wish we had had more years to get to know each other even better. I miss him deeply and feel for his family and friends. We lost one of the truly good ones this week.