Charley Pride

From BR Bullpen

Charley Frank Pride

  • Bats Both, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 180 lb.

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Charley Pride was a pitcher for the Memphis Red Sox briefly in 1953 and then the Birmingham Black Barons in 1954. He was his primarily known for his curveball. After spending a couple of years in the Army, he returned to Memphis in 1958 at age 20 when the Negro Leagues were dying off and did okay against the weakened competition. He was listed as being born in 1938 at the time, which would have made him 15 when he made his first appearances with Memphis, but he was actually four years older.

After briefly playing for the Missoula Timberjacks of the Pioneer League in 1960, he retired from baseball and went on to become one of the most successful black country musicians of all time, being named to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000. Charley was seen at many Texas Rangers games. In 2010, he became a minority owner of the team as part of the group led by Ray Davis and Bob Simpson. He also made it a tradition to offer a private concert for players and team officials every spring training. He performed the National Anthem numerous times at Arlington Stadium and the Ballpark in Arlington, and did it as well when the Rangers inaugurated their new ballpark, Globe Life Field, on July 25, 2020 - with no fans present, unfortunately.

While in the army, Pride played on the All-Army Champion Team, along with J.C. Hartman, Willie Kirkland, and Leon Wagner.

He died in December 2020 at the age of 86, a victim of COVID-19.

Source: The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues by James Riley

Further Reading[edit]

  • T.R. Sullivan: "Jackie Robinson taught Charley Pride to dream: Country music legend, part-Rangers owner and 'absolute treasure'",, April 14, 2020. [1]
  • T.R. Sullivan: "Music icon and Rangers mainstay Pride dies",, December 12, 2020. [2]

Related Sites[edit]