04/02/2014 10:58 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Taking One For The Team: A Gay Baseball Player?

Henrik Sorensen via Getty Images

While the pace of a baseball game may be too sluggish for some, the sport—as a reflection of American culture—has progressed steadily, remaining if not ahead of the social curve then certainly in line with the times.

Babe Ruth served as the poster child for the conspicuous consumption of the 1920s, and Ted Williams, by giving up his prime years to enlist in the war effort, embodied the type of sacrifice that many Americans were willing to make in the 1940s. Sometimes the National Pastime has been socially brazen and downright progressive, like when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, years before the Warren Court desegregated schools “with all deliberate speed.” And international ballplayers have long found a friendly home in the States even as our immigration policy remains as much of a Cold War relic as Vladimir Putin. So with progress a part of the DNA of MLB, it is befuddling that the boys of summer are poised to become the last men standing in the closet.

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