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Bats Left, Swings . . . . ?

NEW YORK -- The Topps Company, Inc., has declined comment on a proposal made by the Council for Lesbian Athletic Prowess calling for sexual orientation information to be included on the back of the company's iconic sports trading cards.

"It is time for the baseball card industry to drag itself into the Twenty-first Century," said CLAP spokesperson and former Mudcat Falls Community College Gourds women's softball team captain Alicia Fingletart. "Estrogen and testosterone have always been a big part of sports -- on and off the field. Think Tiger Woods, Wilt Chamberlain, Marv Albert, cheerleaders, Jason Collins."

Collins, a 12-year veteran of the NBA, made history by announcing that he's gay. He is the first active male player in any of the four professional sports leagues in the United States to acknowledge this publicly. Based on his lack of productivity on the court, though, Jason Collins cards have not shown any huge gain in value among collectors.

Other notable gay American athletes include Olympian Gold Medalists Brian Boitano and Greg Louganis, 39 time tennis Grand Slam title winner Billy Jean King and 2011 Harry Golden Pro Bowlers Association Rookie of the Year Scott Norton.

"I really don't think my nine-year-old needs to know that Wilt Chamberlain bedded down twenty thousand women, any more than he needs to know Albert Einstein's favorite sexual position to learn about the theory of relativity," said Reverend Arnold Dieselspiel, minister at the Riverside Charismatic Episcopal Church of the Sacred Sunrise. "These CLAP folks seem to be just a wee bit bit obsessive about their erogenous zones and need to get a life outside the bedroom."

Sports trading cards often include some personal information about athletes on the back side, including height, weight, date of birth and handedness. CLAP asserts that the time has come for a player's sexual status to be documented as well.

"LGBT athletes should not be treated like second class citizens. And it's time for them to be allowed to come out of the locker and to be recognized for who they are, not just what they do," said Fingletart. "After all this is not Russia."

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi have been clouded by the Western uproar against a Russian law enacted last year that prohibits gay "propaganda" among minors. Critics and gay activists say the law discriminates against homosexuals and could be used against anyone openly supporting gay rights at the games.

Topps competitors Upper Deck and Panini America did not respond to inquiries regarding their positions on this controversy.



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