There are many reasons why Pride Nights will take on an added importance in 2021. One of biggest is that while coronavirus infection rates have ebbed throughout the country, it still hasn’t been enough for numerous cities to hold their annual Pride parades and festivals in June. So for those markets, their team’s Pride Night will be one of the most visible ways to celebrate Pride in a public setting this year.
For a sport that has historically been at odds with the LGBTQ community, it’s refreshing to see baseball playing a significant role in advancing Pride today. In fact, it gives me Pride as both a gay man and a baseball fan. And I love that those aspects of my identity are intersecting in such a positive way.
Here is a list of MLB Pride Nights in 2021. We will keep it updated as more teams release detailed promotional schedules when they put their summer tickets on sale.
Arizona Diamondbacks: June 11 vs. Los Angeles Angels
The D-backs will be selling special event tickets including a Pride cap that features the team’s uniform script depicted in the colors of the Progress Pride flag. A portion of the proceeds from each ticket sold will be donated to One Community and Phoenix Pride.
Atlanta Braves: June 15 vs. Boston Red Sox
Atlanta’s celebration centers around a pregame party at Truist Park’s Coca-Cola Roxy featuring DJ Kimber from Nonsense ATL. (The only place you can find more corporate sponsors than that last sentence is the actual Pride parade itself. Which means that nature is healing.) The Braves are also giving away a Pride cooler bag and presenting a donation to Lost-N-Found.
Baltimore Orioles: June 22 vs. Houston Astros
Pride returns to Birdland and Camden Yards, which remains one of baseball’s greatest settings. This special ticket package includes an O’s Pride sunglasses giveaway featuring the iconic Oriole bird logo in rainbow colors. Additionally, the Orioles will be donating a portion of the proceeds to Moveable Feast. If the O’s are ever looking for a way to make Pride even more special, someday we’d love to see them hang rainbow banners over the right field warehouse similar to the “2131” ones from Cal Ripken’s record breaking streak.
Boston Red Sox: June 10 vs. Houston Astros
As they have in the past, the Red Sox will be hosting their Pride Night in conjunction with Boston Pride. There will be a pregame party on Fenway Park’s Right Field Roof Deck and a Beantown LGBTQ group will sing the national anthem. Plus this year’s Pride Night game is against the Astros. So while we at Outsports can’t endorse bringing a rainbow trash can to Fenway, we’re certainly not going to discourage it either.
Chicago Cubs: (UPDATED) Aug. 22 vs. Kansas City Royals
This August game will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Out at Wrigley, billed as “the nation’s original gay day” at the ballpark. Tickets are available at the regular Bleacher and VIP (featuring all you can eat and drink) levels. Founder Bill Gubrud is currently working with Cubs ownership on plans for the event which will be announced at a later date. If one of those plans involves extending Anthony Rizzo, this writer would not complain one bit. In years past, the Cubs have held an additional Pride Day in June so if they put one on the schedule, we’ll update this listing.
Cincinnati Reds: June 11 vs. Colorado Rockies
The Reds haven’t listed any details about their promotion but it does fall on a Fireworks Friday. If they don’t play the obvious Katy Perry song to close the night, the Reds marketing team needs to pay a visit to literally any Cincinnati drag revue.
Cleveland Baseball Team: June 16 vs. Baltimore Orioles
Cleveland is making two different special ticket packages available. One includes a script Pride flag that will immediately become a collector’s item because it features the soon to be defunct team nickname. The other option is a Pride cap featuring either the rainbow or transgender Pride flag on the side. And don’t worry — this is the block C Cleveland cap so a certain regrettable mascot won’t be making an appearance.
Colorado Rockies: June 4 vs. Oakland A’s
The Rockies will be hosting the first Pride Night on the 2021 baseball calendar and a portion of the proceeds from each ticket sold will be donated to One Colorado and The Center on Colfax.
Detroit Tigers: June 11 vs. Chicago White Sox
While the Tigers are celebrating an official Pride Night on the 11th, they’ve also committed to observing Pride for the entirety of June. As part of the organization’s Game Changers series, the Tigers will be honoring one Detroit-area LGBTQ community member during every week in Pride Month for “making a profound difference in the areas of youth education, youth wellness or sports participation.” Additionally, the Tigers will designate a $1,000 grant to the charity of each honoree’s choice. It’s enough to make Ty Cobb turn over in his grave. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Houston Astros: June 16 vs. Texas Rangers
When the 2020 season was held without fans in attendance, it scuttled the Astros’ plans to hold their first official Pride Night in a decade. To their credit, the Astros rescheduled it for this season and the evening will feature “special pregame ceremonies” and a rainbow hoodie as a giveaway.
Kansas City Royals: June 18 vs. Boston Red Sox
After a successful first Pride Night in 2019, the Royals are bringing the promotion back in 2021 and giving away a rainbow tank top as part of a theme ticket package. As Royals Senior Manager, Special Events and Promotions Matthew Schulte told me on 3 Strikes, You’re Out, “I think Pride Night is very important to [the LGBTQ] community and I totally get it and understand it. So I’m glad that we’re doing it, we’ll continue to do it, and we’ll find other ways to partner with the LGBT community in Kansas City...and make it more of a long-term goal of bringing more LGBT people into the game.”
Los Angeles Dodgers: June 11 vs. Texas Rangers
The largest Pride Night in pro sports is returning in 2021 and the Dodgers are again partnering with LA Pride to roll out the red carpet for their LGBTQ fanbase. Fans who buy a theme ticket will receive a rainbow Dodgers T-shirt with the words “WE’RE BACK” above the interlocking LA. Additionally, Dodger Stadium will be offering drink specials in the pavilion bars, a special recognition for LGBTQ front-line workers, and a pregame ceremony with surprise guests. Following the game, there will be a fireworks show set to the music of DJ Bowie Jane.
Milwaukee Brewers: June 14 vs. Cincinnati Reds
How do you make the best logo in baseball look even better? Do it in rainbow colors. The Brewers will be proving this with a ticket package giving away Pride fanny packs featuring the most inclusive ball in glove insignia of all time. We’d love it if the Brew Crew could make the night extra fabulous by bringing in Symone and Gottmik to lip sync “Roll Out the Barrel” or celebrating home runs with Bernie Brewer sliding into a can of White Claw. But even if it’s just the fanny packs, that’s cool enough.
Minnesota Twins: July 6 vs. Chicago White Sox
We’ve found the best giveaway on the MLB Pride calendar. The Twins are offering a ticket package featuring three different rainbow team jerseys with your preferred pronouns on the sleeve. Simply put, this is the best thing to go on a Twins jersey since “CAREW.” Additionally, a portion of the proceeds for each theme ticket is being donated to Twin Cities Pride. Well done, Twins. This is absolutely brilliant.
New York Mets: June 25 vs. Philadelphia Phillies
LGBTQ Mets fans will get two for the price of one as the Amazins will be playing a single-admission doubleheader on Pride Night with a portion of the money from each ticket sold being donated to the LGBT Network. The team has yet to announce any details about the evening but really, when have the Mets ever disappointed their fans before?
Let’s just move on...
New York Yankees: June 18 vs. Oakland A’s
On the night when Yankee Stadium reopens at full capacity, the Yankees will be holding their Legacy of Pride celebration and unveiling the 2021 Stonewall Scholars in a pregame ceremony in Monument Park. Additionally, the Scholars will participate in a motivational zoom discussion with Billy Bean. For some reason, the Yankees don’t call this a Pride Night so we’re going to be sure to add it to our Pride Night listings in the hopes of making George Steinbrenner’s ghost blow his top and fire Billy Martin again. Which is the best way to celebrate Pride that we can think of.
Oakland A’s: June 11 vs. Kansas City Royals
Most Pride Night special tickets tack a surcharge onto the face value price. But the A’s went in the other direction, celebrating the newly (and awesomely) renamed Glenn Burke Pride Night by reducing ticket prices by 25%. It’s no surprise that the team that gave us “Moneyball” would provide LGBTQ fans with maximum value for their buck. Additionally, the A’s will be giving out rainbow rally towels to wave along with the drummers in the outfield. A portion of the proceeds from each ticket will be donated to the Glenn Burke Wellness Clinic at the Oakland LGBTQ Center.
Philadelphia Phillies: Aug. 25 vs. Tampa Bay Rays
It’s a scientific fact that it is impossible to boo when you hear Whitey Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” Which makes Phillies Pride Night the most unique date on the entire Philadelphia sports calendar. To help spread the joy, the Phillies are giving away rainbow Pride caps to the first 1,000 fans who purchase a special ticket.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Aug. 14 vs. Milwaukee Brewers
The Bucs haven’t listed any details for their promotion yet. But if you like celebrating Pride in romantic settings, you won’t find a better place in baseball than right here in The Burgh. The view of the Allegheny River, Roberto Clemente Bridge, and Pittsburgh skyline is just sublime. I hope my future husband knows we’re spending our honeymoon in the PNC Park upper deck.
San Francisco Giants: June 5 vs. Chicago Cubs
June 11 & 12: Pride Movie Night at Oracle Park
The Giants have scheduled several LGBTQ-themed events at their bayside jewel of a ballpark in 2021. In addition to becoming the first MLB team to take the field in Pride rainbow caps and uniform patches, the team will be giving away a limited edition “SF Pride” T-shirt to every fan who purchases a special event ticket. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to San Francisco Pride.
Then the following week, the Giants will open Oracle Park to fans for a pair of LGBTQ themed outdoor movie nights, screening “In the Heights” on June 11th and “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” on the 12th.
St. Louis Cardinals: June 25 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
If you’ve listened to even a single episode of my podcast, you’d expect that I’d be snarking all over this entry. Except the Cardinals hosting their fourth annual Pride Night in a market that’s not exactly Boystown or the Castro is legitimately a great tradition and one that I support with all my heart (even if it’s sporting a Kris Bryant jersey). As part of the festivities, the Cardinals will be giving away a Pride mesh cap and wearable rainbow flag as well as making a donation to the St. Louis Metro Trans Umbrella Group.
This is seriously a great promotion and the rainbow giveaways are cool. After all, Busch Stadium always looks better with more blue in it.
Tampa Bay Rays: (UPDATED) Aug. 20 vs. Chicago White Sox
The Rays will be hosting their Pride Night in August and are another team giving away fanny packs as part of their Pride Night promotion. I honestly didn’t know that fanny packs were acceptable again. High school me would’ve been way cooler in 2021.
Washington Nationals: Aug. 17 vs. Toronto Blue Jays
In 2019, two gay DC baseball fans celebrated the Nats’ Night OUT by getting engaged. That October, the Nationals won their first World Series. No pressure, 2021. This year marks the 16th annual Night OUT at Nationals Park with five dollars from every ticket sold donated to Team DC. The Nats are still planning how to celebrate the LGBTQ community for this year’s promotion and we have one humble suggestion: enter James Buchanan in the Presidents Race.