Billy Bean played major league baseball from 1987 through 1995. He broke into the major leagues with the Detroit Tigers, and tied a major league record with 4 hits in his first major league game. He went on to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the San Diego Padres. Born in Santa Ana, California, he was a multi-sport star at Santa Ana High School, where he was chosen “athlete of the year” as a senior. He was also selected Valedictorian of his graduating class, and went on to become an “All-America” outfielder twice before graduating from Loyola Marymount University in 1986 with a degree in Business Administration.
The former Major Leaguer kept his personal life a secret from the public and the sports world for many years. Then Billy came out publicly in 1999. His story was front- page news in the New York Times, and subsequently on the nationally televised show “20/20” with Diane Sawyer. He is the only living former major league baseball player to acknowledge his homosexuality. He has been working actively to try and dispel the myth and stereotypes that follow people of diversity. He was a featured spokesman on behalf of the Democratic National Committee during campaign 2000 and 2004. He has inspired many, as a motivational speaker, and a national spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, reaching out to many young adults who are desperately in need of a role model. In the prime of his career, Billy walked away from Major League Baseball in 1996, in part, because of a year long struggle dealing with the sudden death of his former partner, and the frustration of holding onto that secret all alone. His desire not to let that happen to anyone else pushes him to share his story.
“I believe that all people, regardless of their personal belief, or religious denomination, would agree that being honest with yourself, your family, and those around you, is a great foundation for living your life. It was a difficult, silent journey for me, and I want people to learn from my mistakes, not share them.”
Billy is the author of a book titled, “Going the Other Way: Lessons from a life in and out of Major League Baseball.” (Avalon Publishing Group, NYC.) The film adaptation of his book, was purchased by Sony TV/Film, and will be produced by Storyline Entertainment. He is devoted to staying fit, and competitive sports. He often travels around the country playing tennis in organized tournaments in hopes of raising the visibility of athletes of diversity. Billy has also built a successful real estate career over the past 10 years in Miami Beach. He is the proud owner of two Jack Russell Terriers, named Paco and Beya.