NEW YORK—Offering a “safe and accepting environment for those who feel they have nowhere to go,” officials from Major League Baseball announced Thursday the formation of The Outfield, a new support group for players who identify as inter-league. “Not everyone views themselves as just American League or just National League, so we want them to know they’re not alone,” said The Outfield’s leadership coordinator and former inter-leaguer Orel Hershiser, adding that though the number of inter-league players in the MLB has tripled since 1997, many are still bullied and harassed by their peers. “There is, frankly, still a large stigma associated with the inter-league label. It can be incredibly difficult for designated hitters, for example, when they first realize they’re inter-league, thinking that they’re weird or abnormal. The Outfield community can encourage them to have the confidence to stand up and say, ‘I am inter-league, and there’s nothing wrong with that.’” MLB officials also confirmed that a similar group for homosexual players would be unnecessary, noting that no gay men have ever played professional baseball in the history of the sport.
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