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. Bean tied a major league record with four hits in his first major league game.
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".
He attended Santa Ana High School. For 13 years, Bean was the partner of Efrain Veiga, the founder of Yuca restaurant in Miami. They broke up in July 2008.
Bean lives in Miami, Florida and sells real estate. He appeared in a 2009 episode of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, showing Griffin several homes.
Going the Other Way: Lessons from a Life In and Out of Major League Baseball by Billy Bean
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Press (March 24, 2004)
Amazon: Going the Other Way: Lessons from a Life In and Out of Major League Baseball
In spring 2003 Billy Bean, the only living openly gay former major leaguer, gained national attention with his breakthrough memoir, Going the Other Way—an unprecedented chronicle of America's national pastime that went on to sell more than 25,000 copies. Bean brings us inside the clubhouse and onto the playing field, offering dead-on insight into the game and the physical and emotional demands it makes on players. Bean faced an agonizing choice, in secrecy and solitude, between continuing to play the game he loved and the honesty of a loving relationship. By turns heartbreaking and farcical, ruminative and uncensored, the book culminates in a respectful, deeply felt appeal to Major League Baseball and other professional team sports to live up to their promise of equality and opportunity. A testament to the power of the single voice, Going the Other Way is an exemplary American tale that points the way toward a more perfect game, one in which all men and women can pursue their athletic dreams free of prejudice and discrimination. An eight-page photo insert is featured in this New York Times bestseller.
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