Get to Know Pro Baseball's Gay Pioneers
BY Michelle Garcia
March 21 2014 5:00 AM ET
National League umpire Dave Pallone made calls in the major leagues for 10 years (plus another eight in the minors). In fact, he is known quite famously for his scuffle with Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose (see below). In fact, Rose was later suspended for 30 days and fined $10,000. But Pallone was fired abruptly in 1988, after it was revealed that he is gay. At the time, the umpire was indicted as participating in a teenage sex ring. The allegations were cleared after police questioning, but then-baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti told Pallone that he didn't think the umpire could handle all of the negative publicity, so he had to fire him.
He had the last laugh, though. According to Outsports, Pallone had received at least 700,000 letters from people since writing his New York Times best-selling book, Behind The Mask: My Double Life in Baseball, where he said he could have built an All-Star team with all the closeted players in the game.