Former Giants pitching prospect Solomon Bates came out as gay with a lengthy post on Instagram Tuesday, becoming the second Minor League Baseball player to come out publicly.
After appearing in 25 games in the Giants’ system this season, most of which came with Double-A Richmond, Bates’ post revealed he no longer is with the organization while thanking the team for giving him the opportunity to be himself and play the game he loves. He pitched for the Giants in spring training earlier this year, and said in his post that the team made a new fan out of him.
In an interview with Outsports, the right-hander revealed he already had come out as gay to his teammates back in 2019. But now he wants to use his platform to “open up doors” for other gay athletes, he wrote on Instagram.
“Being gay in this sport you don’t know what comes at you!” Bates wrote in his Instagram post, which showed his 2022 minor league stats. “... Baseball I’m not done with you. I’m leaving on my terms and my terms only. Gay men can play a manly sport if you give us a chance to.”
Bates was an eighth-round pick by the Giants in the 2018 MLB Draft after attending USC.
Across his minor league career, Bates posted a 17-6 record with a 4.30 ERA. He joins David Denson, who came out in 2015 before retiring in 2017, as the only other minor league players to come out as gay. No active MLB players have come out, though there are other professional baseball players who have done so in independent baseball.
After posting to Instagram, Bates took to Twitter to retweet messages of congratulations and support. He also thanked the masses for turning what he called a “weird day” into something to celebrate.
Bates told Outsports he feels “confident” he will be with a new team in the coming days.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding his baseball career, the response to his announcement shows he will serve as an inspiration to many no matter what.