Country music legendCharley Pride set the industry ablaze for over 60 years with his dozens of hits, while also simultaneously paving the way for other African American country artists.
The country music world was brought to its knees at the loss of such an icon last year, after Pride passed away due to complications with COVID-19.
However now, the Texas Rangers baseball organization is paying their respects to the country music star and longtime baseball fan, naming their spring training stadium in Surprise, AZ, “Charley Pride Field” in his honor.
Pride was a former Negro League and Minor League pitcher in the ’50s, and had been a part-owner of the Rangers for the last 10 years.
The Rangers released the following statement regarding the move:
“Mr. Pride’s first love was baseball. He pitched professionally in the Negro Leagues and Minor Leagues throughout the 1950’s before embarking on his Hall of Fame singing career of more than 60 years.
Mr. Pride then became a regular participant at Texas Rangers spring training camps in Pompano Beach and Port Charlotte, Florida and Surprise, Arizona, working out with the team and staging an annual clubhouse concert for players and staff, a tradition that continued through this past spring.”
In fact, one of Pride’s final performances was singing the National Anthem in July of last year at the first-ever game played at the Rangers’ new stadium, “Globe Life Field.”
“The Rangers have been honored to have Mr. Pride be a part of the team’s ownership group for the last 10 years. A longtime resident of the area, he was a regular at home games when his schedule permitted.
Mr. Pride was a true gentleman, and we will never forget the lasting contributions he has made to the Texas Rangers organization.”