Major League Baseball's Florida Marlins has become what is believed to be the second professional baseball team to pitch itself to gay fans by buying advertising in a local gay newspaper, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports. The baseball team has purchased weekly quarter-page ads in the South Florida-based gay weekly The Express. The team also has partnered with AIDS Project Florida and Care Resources and scheduled an AIDS Awareness Night at Miami's Pro Player Stadium on August 11.
"I think that it's historic in the sense that you have a professional sports franchise acknowledging that gays have economic strength and are representative of the community," said Express publisher Norm Kent. "Gay people go out and participate in and watch pro sports."
The Chicago Cubs is the other professional baseball team known to have purchased ads in a gay weekly. The team has had an agreement with the Chicago Free Press since 2001 and holds an annual promotion called "Out at the Ballgame" at Wrigley Field.