MLB umpire Dale Scott comes out

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(SportsNetwork.com) - Major League Baseball umpire Dale Scott has come out publicly as gay, the first male official in the four major sports to do so.

Scott, an MLB umpire since 1986 who has worked three World Series, told Outsports in a story published Tuesday that his homosexuality was no secret in the baseball community.

The first public acknowledgement of his sexuality came in October, when Scott submitted a photo of himself and his longtime partner, Michael Rausch, to accompany a profile of the umpire in Referee magazine.

The subscription-only publication has since posted the article online. In the caption, Rausch is identified as Scott's "longtime companion."

Scott, 55, told Outsports they were married last November.

"Obviously, when I sent that picture to (the magazine), I knew exactly what it meant," Scott 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.

"I realized that it could open a Pandora's Box, but this is not a surprise to Major League Baseball, the people I work for. It's not a surprise to the umpire staff. Until Mike and I got married last November, he was my same-sex domestic partner and had his own MLB ID and was on my insurance policy.

"This is not going to be some huge flashing news (at MLB headquarters), but I also didn't want to be making some coming out story, some banner headline, because that's not how I operate. It's not a shock to MLB management because they're well aware of my situation and it's not a shock to the umpire staff. If it would have been, I don't think I would have done it."

In addition to three World Series, Scott has also worked three All-Star Games and many playoff series and has been a crew chief for 12 years.

"I am extremely grateful that Major League Baseball has always judged me on my work and nothing else and that's the way it should be," he told Outsports.