Oakland Athletics pitcher Sean Doolittle and his girlfriend, Eireann Dolan, stepped in to head off what she described as a negative response to the team’s first LGBT Pride Night this coming season, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
Late last week, Dolan offered to buy tickets for the A’s June 17th game against San Diego, saying several season ticket holders were refusing to attend and trying to sell their tickets because they were uncomfortable with the event.
“If you’d like to sell your tickets to June 17th’s LGBT Pride Night game, I will buy them from you at face value. As many as I can. No judgments. No questions asked,” she wrote on her blog. “From there, I will donate any tickets I purchase to the Bay Area Youth Center’s Our Space community for LGBTQ youth.”
She revealed in the post that her biological mother is part of a same-sex couple living in San Diego.
“In fact I’m starting to suspect that the Athletics focus-grouped this event idea with just my two moms and nobody else,” she wrote. “It couldn’t be any more perfectly tailored to my moms than if the team announced that NPR’s Terry Gross will also be throwing out the first pitch and there will be a free notepad giveaway on which my moms can write down all of the reasons I should have majored in something more practical in college.”
On Monday, Dolan said, Doolittle agreed to match her donations up to $3,000. She also started an online fundraising campaign to purchase more seats to donate to the youth center group.
The campaign surpassed its initial goal of $6,000 as of Tuesday evening, prompting her to raise the goal to $10,000. As of publication, the campaign had raised just over $8,000. In response, Dolan said, the team has opened up three additional seating sections for tickets purchased with the donations.
The team will also honor former Athletic Glenn Burke, the first major-leaguer to announce that he was gay. Burke died in 1995.
Dolan posted a picture online of rainbow-colored wristbands that will be available for ticket buyers sitting at field level, which can be seen below.
— Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) March 26, 2015