By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com October 02 2013 1:42 PM ET
Last Friday the National League's West Division Champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers, welcomed more than just their opponents, the Colorado Rockies, onto the field. For the first time in the club's history, the boys in blue hosted LGBT Night OUT at Dodger Stadium, specifically welcoming LGBT fans to the stands and bringing a few major names in gay culture onto the field for a special pre-game ceremony.
Amber Riley, best known as Mercedes on Glee and for her turn on Dancing With the Stars, performed the National Anthem on the diamond, with vocal accompaniment from the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles. Former 'N Sync member and out musician Lance Bass was also in attendance, suiting up in a Dodgers jersey and joining his fellow celebrities on the field.
In a nod to the historic progress being made by out athletes, the ceremonial first pitch was thrown by veteran NBA center Jason Collins, who became the first openly gay male athlete to come out in a major league sport while still playing when he revealed that he's gay in an April cover story in Sports Illustrated. Collins, who played for the Washington Wizards last season, was joined by former L.A. Dodger Billy Bean, the only living former Major League Baseball player who has come out as gay.
After a rousing Friday night game against the Rockies — where the Colorado team walked away with a 2-1 victory — fans were invited onto the field to enjoy a fireworks show with musical accompaniment by DJ Manny Lehman. LGBT Night OUT at Dodger Stadium was presented by Tom Whitman, Flip Events, the L.A. Dodgers.
Watch a recap of the event produced by DodgerTown, including Amber Riley's performance of the National Anthem along with the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles:
Click through to see exclusive photos from the historic night on the following pages >>>
Billy Bean, Lance Bass, and Jason Collins looking stylishly casual pre-game.
Lance Bass and Jason Collins change into Dodger gear.
Lance Bass and Jason Collins
Lance Bass and catcher Drew Butera
Jason Collins and Billy Bean take the field.
Billy Bean waves to the crowd at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers catchers Drew Butera (far left) and Tim Federowicz (far right) pose with Jason Collins and Billy Bean.
Jason Collins warming up his arm
Watch Collins and Bean throw out the first pitch in the clip below: