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MLB appoints Billy Bean consultant for inclusion

07/15/2014 3:41 PM ET
By The Associated Press

Basketball player Jason Collins and former baseball player Billy Bean congratulate each other after throwing out the ceremonial first pitches at the first annual LGBT Night Out at Dodger Stadium.(AP)
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Major League Baseball has appointed former outfielder Billy Bean, who came out as gay after his playing career, to serve as a consultant in guiding the sport toward greater inclusion and equality.

Commissioner Bud Selig made the announcement Tuesday before the All-Star game.

Joining Bean and Selig at a news conference was Lutha Burke, the sister of Glenn Burke, who was the first MLB player to come out as gay after retiring. Burke died in 1995.

Bean will provide guidance and training related to efforts designed to support the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community throughout baseball. He'll work with players and front office personnel through the major and minor leagues.

Bean played for Detroit, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego over parts of six seasons and hit .226. He dedicated his autobiography to Burke.

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