Baseball fans will again descend on Busch Stadium to watch the St. Louis Cardinals take on division rivals the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday, Sept. 25 as they wrap up regular season play and march toward another National League championship.
Out at the Ballpark was started by Pride St. Louis in July 2010 - and Just John has been holding their annual event for the past seven years. According to Just John owner John Oberkramer, the merger was a perfect fit.
"We decided to team up and have just one night at the ballpark," he said. " I promised I would do all of the leg work. I'm donating a portion of every ticket sold to Pride."
According to Cyd Zeigler, founder of the LGBTQ sports blog OutSports, at least 75-percent if not all of MLB teams have had some form of “LGBT nights” at their respective parks since 2001.
“Some "gay nights" are small so don't get much attention outside of the event, so I don't think anyone can put a final number,” said Zeigler. “The power of these "gay nights" is often just for the attendees. It's still so important for LGBT people to feel they are welcome at sporting events, particularly for the big pro sports leagues.”
“On a larger scale, the visibility of some of these "gay nights" is profound,” Zeigler continued. “The Cubs and Phillies have both had powerful "gay nights" for years in which they truly celebrate the community with rainbow flags, pre-game pitches, national anthem performers and other visibility efforts. Those teams can be applauded for using the opportunity to make much larger statements about their sports family and inclusion of everyone in sports.”
Also on deck - the Chicago White Sox and Equality Illinois are teaming up again this summer for the third annual LGBT Pride Night: Out at the Sox game fundraiser on Saturday, August 29 at U.S. Cellular Field.
With a portion of select tickets sold benefitting the mission of Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest and largest advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans, pro-equality baseball fans will have the opportunity to cheer on the White Sox as they face the Seattle Mariners, while contributing to the organization’s fight for full equality for LGBT citizens of Illinois.
“The Chicago White Sox welcome LGBT fans all season long, but this special evening gives us an opportunity to thank the team for its support and also give baseball fans a chance to support the work we do for equality,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.
Tickets for Just John Night at the Ballpark with Pride St. Louis are available at Brown Paper Tickets - $35 covers your ticket, a ride on the Just John shuttle and a t-shirt. According to organizers, only a limited number of tickets will be available: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2031948