MLB Hires Pride, Promotes Bean

Major League Baseball on Thursday named former big league outfielder Curtis Pride as its new Ambassador for Inclusion, while the incumbent, Billy Bean, was promoted to vice president for social responsibility and inclusion.

Pride, 47, who is deaf, played parts of 11 seasons in the majors for the Expos, Tigers, Red Sox, Braves, Yankees and Angels after being drafted by the Mets in the 10th round in 1986 out of William & Mary. His best season came in 1996 with the Tigers when he hit .300/.372/.513 in 95 games. His 421 games played were the most by a deaf player since William Hoy played in 1902.

When he retired, Pride went on to coach at Gallaudet, a university for the education of the deaf and hard of hearing located in Washington, D.C., and led the baseball team to a school record 27 wins in 2014. Pride’s role with MLB with be to provide guidance, assistance and training related to MLB’s efforts to ensure an inclusive environment.

“Curtis Pride is an inspiring example of determination and an outstanding role model for kids and all those who overcome challenges,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in a news release. “He will offer a valuable perspective as we continue efforts to foster an inclusive environment for anyone who plays or is a fan of our sport.”

Bean, 51, a former major league outfielder who came out as gay shortly after his career ended in 1999, will be responsible for many of the League’s social responsibility initiatives, including oversight of MLB’s Workplace Code of Conduct and anti-bullying programming, while continuing to focus on the inclusion of the LGBT community.

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