Pitching with Pride

Written by: Claudette Scrafford

Preserving history, honoring excellence, connecting generations. This is our mission at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Sean Conroy made history on June 25 by starting in his first professional baseball game as the first openly gay pro baseball player. And the Hall of Fame will preserve that history forever.

The 23-year-old Conroy led the Sonoma Stompers to a 7-0 win in front of the home crowd at Arnold Field in Sonoma, Calif. A native of Clifton Park, N.Y., Conroy graduated in May from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), located in Troy, N.Y. His career statistics while playing with the Rensselaer Engineers were impressive: In 33 starts, he went 21-7 with an earned run average of 2.07, a school record. After completing his final season with the Engineers, he signed his first professional contract with the Stompers, a team in the Pacific Association of Baseball Clubs.

At the end of the historic game in June, his teammates jogged over and hugged him. Some even wore rainbow-striped socks and arm warmers to show their support. The lineup card, donated to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, was signed by the team, another sign of support.

“It’s very humbling and completely unexpected,” said Conroy, when asked what it meant to have game-related items in the Hall of Fame.

Claudette Scrafford is the Manuscript Archivist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum