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LGBT Sports history: Sean Conroy was pro baseball’s first gay active player

Minor league pitcher Sean Conroy became the first openly gay active professional baseball player in 2015 and was honored by Cooperstown.

Sean Conroy

All month long, Outsports is revisiting key moments in gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer sports history as part of LGBTQ history month. Today, we’re remembering the milestone set by Sean Conroy, who in June 2015 became the first out, gay, active pro baseball player.

Here’s the story Outsports co-founder Jim Buzinski wrote in September 2015 when the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., added Conroy for his part in baseball history.

In June, Sean Conroy, a pitcher for the minor league Sonoma Stompers in California, made history by becoming the first openly gay active professional baseball player. This history has now been preserved at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., where the lineup card and scorecard from the June 25 game are on display.

”It’s very humbling and completely unexpected,” Conroy told the Hall of Fame. What’s cool is that all Conroy’s teammates signed the lineup card:

Sean Conroy Lineup

The June 25 game was Pride Night for the Stompers and Conroy responded by throwing a shutout, preserved forever in the scorecard also on display:

Sean Conroy Scorecard

Conroy’s teammates have been wonderfully supportive, wearing rainbow socks for the historic game.

Conroy, 23, plays in the independent Pacific Association of Baseball Clubs and is not affiliated with a Major League Baseball team. On the season, Conroy is 5-3 with a 2.70 ERA and a more than 3 to 1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.

[In August 2015], David Denson of the Milwaukee Brewers farm system also came out as gay.

Sean Conroy retired in 2017. Tomorrow — and every day in October — we’ll look back at another moment in LGBTQ sports history.