Editor’s Note: If you will register as a potential bone-marrow donor, you can possibly save Billy Bean’s life, or the life of someone else. Be The Match is looking for people ages 18-35 to register. Please do so. You can literally save someone’s life.
Billy Bean, the Major League Baseball executive who came out publicly as gay shortly after his playing career ended in the 1990s, has revealed he is battling acute myeloid leukemia and is in need of a bone marrow transplant.
“I’m not angry, I’m hopeful,” he told USA Today, “but it hit me really, really hard. I spent 21 days in a hospital with my immune system compromised, I couldn’t have visitors. It was a very isolating experience, especially when you don’t know what the outcome is.”
Bean has been a champion for LGBTQ inclusion in baseball even before being named by MLB an “Ambassador For Inclusion” in 2014. Bean had come out publicly in 1999 after retiring from baseball, having played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres.
Now Bean needs a champion of his own, someone who is willing to be a bone-marrow donor and matches with Bean.
The most recent time Bean was on social media was to repost a Major League Baseball tweet supporting Spirit Day, a campaign encouraging people to stand up for people being bullied, particularly LGBTQ youth.
Purple suits us. Today and every day, we take a stand to support LGBTQ youth and guard against bullying. No one should be bullied or called names simply for being who they are. That’s why we are wearing purple for #SpiritDay today. pic.twitter.com/O4McTzgLes— MLB (@MLB) October 19, 2023
Even as he is battling leukemia, Bean is thinking of helping LGBTQ youth.
During the MLB Winter Meetings, being held right now, the league is hosting a series of online auctions to support Stand Up To Cancer, in honor the Bean and fellow MLB diversity executive Catalina Villegas, who is being treated for breast cancer. There are a variety of items, ranging in bid from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Bidding ends Thursday.
Outsports sends its love and appreciation to Bean and his family. We hope a donor match is found soon. You can register as a potential bone-marrow donor at Be The Match.