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Orioles host second LGBTQ Pride Night: ‘We want to make sure that we’re engaged in all of it’

As part of Pride Month, the Orioles on Wednesday joined a large group of major league clubs by hosting an LGBTQ Pride Night for the second straight year at Camden Yards.

Billy Bean, Major League Baseball’s vice president and special assistant to the commissioner, was in attendance, throwing out the honorary first pitch while wearing the Orioles’ special ticket package cap featuring the pride flag on the brim. He praised the Orioles’ involvement and excitement about events like Wednesday’s, adding that he spoke before the game with manager Brandon Hyde and executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias about the organization’s desire to promote a message of inclusion.

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“I had an amazing conversation with Brandon and Mike on the field talking about the things that we plan on doing the upcoming year and the rest of 2019,” Bean said, “and they were like, ‘We want to make sure that we’re engaged in all of it.’ ”

Bean, who came out as gay four years after ending his playing career in 1995, said he was happy to see the Orioles be one of the league’s many teams hosting similar Pride Nights throughout June after doing so for the first time last season. He said the league and its teams are making consistent efforts to educate players on the resources available to them when it comes to supporting the LGBTQ community.

He also said he hopes fans recognize that these are important issues to MLB.

“Whether that happens on the field or whether it happens by evidence of a Pride Night around the league, I think from the media coverage, social media, television, all fans know that baseball is all on board to be supportive of LGBTQ conversation and their allies, so that is great progress,” Bean said. “The way the world is, I think people are looking for role models and examples, and I want baseball to be that in every one of those conversations.

“It’s happened much faster than I ever could’ve hoped when we started.”

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