Texas Rangers Name Baseball Field for Charley Pride, Who Held Partial Ownership of Their Team
Charley Pride may be best known for his legendary career in country music, but back before he broke into Nashville stardom, he was a pitcher for the Memphis Red Sox and Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro League, playing from 1953 to 1958.
Even after he moved on to musical pursuits, the singer never forgot his love of baseball, and now, he'll be honored with a namesake field at the Texas Rangers spring training complex in Surprise, Ariz. The Rangers — a MLB team in which Pride held a partial ownership stake — unveiled their newly dedicated Charley Pride Field in mid-March, commemorating the tribute by tweeting video footage of the field along with the caption, "You are greatly missed."
Pride died on Dec. 12, of complications of COVID-19, at the age of 86. Following his death, the Rangers issued an official statement reflecting on his momentous contributions to baseball, as well as to country music; they also detailed the singer's longstanding personal history with their team, stating that even before he assumed part-ownership, Pride was a regular fixture during spring training, "working out with the team and staging an annual clubhouse concert for players and staff, a tradition that continued through this past spring."
In July, Pride sang the U.S. National Anthem at the first-ever game played by the Rangers at their new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas (the stadium was empty of live crowds due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Pride's final performance took place a month nearly to the day before his death, on Nov. 11, at the CMA Awards: He sang his marquee hit, "Kiss an Angel Good Morning," alongside Jimmie Allen, and also accepted the CMA's Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.
The country legend earned a long list of Grammy, ACM and CMA trophies over the course of his lengthy and prolific musical career. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.
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