The first openly gay umpire in Major League Baseball has called it quits after working close to 4,000 games–and now, he’s enjoying retired life in Portland.
58-year-old Dale Scott, a Eugene native, says that after four concussions in five years, he made a tough call and left the big leagues earlier than planned.
‘If I had as much luck as I do with Powerball as I do with concussions, I’d be very rich right now,” Scott said.
During Scott’s final game in Toronto, Canada in April last year, he was carted off the turf in a neck brace.
“You work almost 4,000 games, and the last game you work, you exit on a stretcher in a neck brace?” Scott said. “As I told my friends … I am gay, we love to make an exit!”
In fact, he says during his last eight months on the job, he had his bell rung twice.
“It used to be, ‘hey, shake it off, kid,’” Scott said. “Now, we know how wrong that is.”
Scott entered the majors in 1985, working with and meeting some of the greats, from presidents to the famous San Diego chicken, a sports mascot.
He says he treasures the memories–most of them, anyway.
“I don’t miss the rain delays, I don’t miss the hotel reservation screw-ups,” Scott said, laughing. “I don’t miss the guys screaming at you for what I would consider no reason.”
Accordingly, Scott says that in his time, he tossed many a player and manager.
None, however, were quite as memorable as his Memorial Day spat with Yankee Manager Billy Martin in 1988, during which Martin threw dirt at Scott.
“I was the last ejection of Billy Martin,” Scott said. “Badge of honor!”
Scott came out as gay in 2014. He says he has been happily married to his husband, Mike, for the past five years, but adds that they’ve been together for nearly 32 years.
“All of my guys I worked with knew,” Scott said. “… This wasn’t some big, huge explosion for them. It’s been a very positive experience since then.”
Now, Scott says he is excited to make the calls in retirement and remember his 30-plus years in the bigs for his next 30-plus years.
He says he has a few games on the books summer–not to ump, but to toss out honorary first pitches on Pride nights for the Dodgers and the Orioles.
Plus, he says he gets to ride on the MLB float during the Pride parade in New York City.
Scott says he is an avid Oregon football fan and looks forward to fall, but as far as MLB in Portland … he says he’d love to see it, but isn’t holding his breath.
Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.