When Minor League Baseball player Solomon Bates publicly came out as gay Tuesday in the wake of his release, he expressed full confidence that he would sign on with another pro team soon.
As it turns out, it took just two days.
Bates announced Thursday he’s signed with the Sioux City Explorers, who are members of the American Association of Professional Baseball, an independent league founded in 2005.
“Gotta wait Patiently for a minor league affiliate. Sioux City explorers is where I will get another chance for now. I’m thankful for it. God has blessed me,” tweeted Bates.
Gotta wait Patiently for a minor league affiliate. Sioux City explorers is where I will get another chance for now. I'm thankful for it. God has blessed me. https://t.co/eZCO435Ybl— Solomon Bates (@SolomonBates_) August 11, 2022
Bates publicly came out on Instagram this week after he was released from the San Francisco Giants organization. The right-handed hurler pitched for the Richmond Flying Squirrels (the Giants’ Double-A affiliate), and posted a respectable 4-1 record with a 3.74 ERA.
He accompanied his powerful coming out message with his stats page, showing that out gay pitchers can excel.
Bates, who came out to his teammates in 2019, told Outsports he decided to publicly share his sexuality so he could serve as an inspiration to others.
“I haven’t been out as my complete self because I’ve been hiding myself,” he said. “I’m a masculine man who loves the sport of baseball, and now I want to open up doors for gay athletes like me.”
As our Ken Schultz wrote, Bates’ self-confidence serves as an example for all of us. He knows he’s good enough to play pro baseball, and isn’t afraid of his sexual orientation derailing his career.
It hasn’t to this point.
“I want people to see my stats and let people know gay men can play baseball. I was on the verge of doing that, my shot just ended up short,” Bates told Cyd Zeigler.
Now, he’s receiving another opportunity. Bates’ journey continues, and this time, he’s not hiding for anyone.