Minor Leaguer Solomon Bates comes out as gay

August 10th, 2022

SAN DIEGO -- Former Giants Minor League pitcher Solomon Bates came out publicly as gay in an Instagram post on Tuesday, also announcing that he had been released by the organization.

“Being gay in this sport you don’t know what comes at you!” Bates wrote. “I thank the [G]iants for giving me the opportunity to be myself and go out there and play the game that I love the most.”

Bates is the second Minor League player to come out as gay, joining former Brewers farmhand David Denson, who became the first openly gay player in affiliated baseball in 2015. No active Major League player has come out as gay, though Billy Bean, who now works as MLB’s senior vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, and Glenn Burke both came out after their playing careers ended.

“Solomon has made a lasting and important impression on his teammates over the course of his college baseball and Minor League career,” said Bean. “I appreciate his decision and courage to share this part of his story with baseball and our fans.”

An eighth-round Draft pick of the Giants out of USC in 2018, Bates logged a 4.02 ERA over 23 relief appearances with Double-A Richmond in 2022 before being released on Tuesday.

“I haven’t been out as my complete self because I’ve been hiding myself,” Bates told Outsports. “I’m a masculine man who loves the sport of baseball, and now I want to open up doors for gay athletes like me.”

He wrote on Instagram that he was “still in shock” over being let go in the midst of his fifth Minor League season, though he vowed to find a new organization and continue to pursue his dream of reaching the Majors.

“Baseball I’m not done with you,” Bates wrote. “I’m leaving on my terms and my terms only. Gay men can play a manly sport if you give us a chance to.”