Major League umpire Dale Scott has worked three World Series, three All-Star Games, two no-hitters and numerous playoff games. He is also gay and married to his partner of 28 years.
That last fact is just part of who Dale Scott is and has had no impact on his abilities as an umpire for the past 29 seasons. Yet it is understandably the one that most people will notice, because Scott is the first Major League Baseball umpire to publicly say he is gay while active (and the first out active male official in the NBA, NHL, NFL or MLB). This story you are reading now came about because Scott made a decision to first come out in a very quiet and understated way.
According to OutSports.com, Scott’s coming out wasn’t done in some big announcement. It wasn’t a political or social stand. It was merely Scott allowing a picture of him and his husband, Michael Rausch, to be used in a small magazine profile.
In a Dec. 2 story, Scott told Outsports that his colleagues and MLB knew he was gay and that it’s not been an issue.
Scott was profiled in the October issue of Referee Magazine, a subscription-only publication with a circulation of about 45,000.
The article by Peter Jackel was a look at Scott’s 29 years as a Major League umpire, and how he became one of the game’s best despite nearly being fired early in his career. It also delved into his past career as a disc jockey with his “distinctive, radio-rich voice of a Vin Scully and the comedic timing of a George Carlin.”
Jackel talked to friends of Scott’s who grew up with him in Eugene, Ore., but nothing was written about his private life since he became an umpire. Prior to publication, the magazine’s editor, Jeff Stern, wanted some non-game photos and that’s when Scott made a decision to reveal a part of himself previously hidden from the public.
After consulting with his partner, Michael Rausch, Scott decided to send a photo of the two of them, and it ran with this caption: “He and his longtime companion, Michael Rausch, traveled to Australia for the 2014 season opener between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers.”
“My thought process was is that there’s a story about my career and how I got started in umpiring and they’re talking to people I have known since junior high and it didn’t seem right to have a whole story and pictures without a picture of Mike and I, someone who’s been with me through this entire process,” Scott told OutSports. “We met the October after my first year in the big leagues.”
Scott adds that he knew it was a quiet way of coming out.
“Obviously, when I sent that picture to Jeff, I knew exactly what it meant,” he said. “In a small way, this was opening that door in a publication that wasn’t going to be circulated nationwide. It could be picked up, but it’s not Time magazine. I made that decision to go ahead and do it because I felt it was the right thing to do.