A few years back it was discovered that Cleveland Indians pitcher Kazuhito Tadano had been rejected by Japanese baseball clubs for appearing in a gay pornographic video.

After a few mildly successful years playing ball in the United States, the talented player has now been called back to Japan to play with the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Tadano was a star pitcher at Rikkyo University and was expected to be a welcome addition to the Japanese leagues in 2002 when it was discovered that the athlete had appeared in a gay porn film while attending college.

He was banned from the Japanese leagues and came to play in America where the Indians drafted him as a free agent.

He made 14 appearances with the major league team, but mostly played in the minors during his tenure.

Following his debut season, the United States press learned of the videotape, and Tadano gave a public apology for his past.

According to the Associated Press, in a 2004 statement, Tadano admitted, “I did participate in a video and I regret it very much,” he said.

“It was a one-time incident that showed bad judgement and will never be repeated.

“I was young, playing baseball, and going to college and my teammates and I needed money.”

Tadano also emphatically denied being homosexual stating, “I’m not gay. I’d like to clear that fact up right now.”

He was traded to the Oakland A’s early last year, but was never added to the major league roster.

Now, apparently, all is forgiven in Japan because this week it was announced that the 27-year-old would be returning home to play for the Hams based in Sapporo.

Currently Billy Bean and the late Glenn Burke are the only two former major league baseball players who have come out as openly gay.

Dylan Vox © 2007 GayWired.com; All Rights Reserved.