Veteran Major League Baseball umpire Dale Scott revealed in an interview that he is gay and married to his partner of 28 years.
"I am extremely grateful that Major League Baseball has always judged me on my work and nothing else," Scott told Outsports.com in an article published Tuesday. "And that's the way it should be."
Scott, who has worked three World Series and three All-Star Games, had been the subject of an October profile in Referee magazine, which included a photo of Scott and his longtime companion, Michael Rausch, whom he married in November 2013.
"Obviously, when I sent that picture (to the magazine), I knew exactly what it meant," Scott told Outsports.com. "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."
The 55-year-old Scott will begin his 30th season in the majors next spring. He has been a member of the big league staff since 1986 and is a crew chief. He worked the World Series in 1998, 2001 and 2004.
"They'll still yell at me when a 3-2 slider doesn't break their way," he told The Associated Press. "But they'll be yelling at me because they didn't like my call, not because I'm a gay umpire."
Commissioner Bud Selig issued a statement Tuesday in response to Scott's interview.
"For 29 years, Dale Scott has been an outstanding Major League umpire,'' Selig said. "To his friends and colleagues throughout the game, Dale is universally regarded as a class act. All of us at Major League Baseball are very proud of him, just as we have always been.''
According to the publication, Scott is the first male official in the four major sports leagues to announce he is gay. NBA referee Violet Palmer announced she was gay in 2007 and said she was marrying her longtime partner in August.
No big league player or manager has been openly gay during their active career. Glenn Burke and Billy Bean are among the players who later said they were gay, as did umpire Dave Pallone. At the All-Star break last summer, MLB hired Bean as a consultant to help the game achieve greater awareness and equality for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick and The Associated Press contributed to this report.