William Daro “Billy” Bean (born May 11, 1964) is a retired American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as an outfielder for the Detroit Tigers (1987-1989), Los Angeles Dodgers (1989), and San Diego Padres (1993-1995), as well as the Kintetsu Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball in 1992. He publicly came out as gay in 1999.
Bean was an outfielder, and left-handed hitter, with 487 at bats with a .226 batting average in a career that lasted from 1987 through 1995: Detroit Tigers 1987-1989, Los Angeles Dodgers 1989, San Diego Padres 1993–1995. He played for the Kintetsu Buffaloes in Japan in 1992.
After acknowledging that he is gay, Bean went on to write a book, Going the Other Way: Lessons from a Life in and out of Major League Baseball.
Bean is the second Major League Baseball player who has ever revealed his homosexuality. Billy Bean came out after his retirement. Glenn Burke was the first to come out to his teammates and employers during his playing days, though Burke didn’t come out to the public at large until his career was over.
He was a panelist on GSN’s I’ve Got A Secret revival in 2006, and is a board member of the Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation.
In the summer of 2007, it was announced that he had been hired as a consultant by Scout Productions, the team of David Collins and Michael Williams, who produced Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, for their next project with Showtime entitled The Beard. The project is a romantic comedy about a gay professional baseball player who enters into a relationship with a woman in order to survive in the sports world.
Bean starred in a MTV episode of Made, he was an actor in an episode of the sitcom Frasier and appeared as himself on the HBO series Arli$$ in the 2002 episode “Playing it Safe”.
Bean was appointed MLB’s first “Ambassador for Inclusion” on July 15, 2014.