Texas Rangers Dedicate New Training Field to Country Music Icon Charley Pride

Charley Pride’s legacy continues to live on.  The Texas Rangers paid tribute to the country music legend by naming the…

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Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

March 16, 2021

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Charley Pride; Photo by Ford Fairchild

Charley Pride’s legacy continues to live on. 

The Texas Rangers paid tribute to the country music legend by naming the team’s new training field after him. Dubbed Charley Pride Field, the new field is located at the Texas Rangers’ new spring training complex in Surprise, Arizona. 

“Charley Pride was a very special person,” general manager Chris Young shared during the unveiling of the eponymous field. “As we dedicate this field to him today, it’s important to remember who he was and the way he lived his life. This guy left nothing to chance. He lived life to its fullest. And I think every time we take this field or any field for that matter, we want to do the same.

“We honor Charlie, we honor all Ranger fans with the way we go about it on a daily basis. … Charley’s name on this field represents who we are and what we want to be. Charlie was a champion, our number one fan, and this is a special day to celebrate him.”

Charley Pride passed away due to complications of COVID-19 on the morning of Saturday, December 12 at the age of 86. According to a statement released by his family, Pride was admitted to the hospital with COVID symptoms in late November, but “despite the incredible efforts, skill and care of his medical team over the past several weeks, he was unable to overcome the virus.”

The Country Music Hall of Fame member has an extensive history in baseball, spending seven years as a pitcher. Between the years 1953 and 1960 Pride played for the Memphis Red Sox and the Birmingham Black Barons. According to Music Row, the “Kiss An Angel Good Morning” singer was named to the Negro league All-Star team in 1956 and 1957.

Pride was part of the ownership group that purchased the Texas Rangers in 2010, according to Sports Illustrated, Pride held that position until he died. 

“The Rangers have been honored to have Mr. Pride be a part of the team’s ownership group for the last ten years,” the team said in a statement at the time of Pride’s death. “A longtime resident of this area, he was a regular at home games when his schedule permitted. He sang ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ one final time before the first regular season game ever played at Globe Life Field on July 24.”

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“When we step on this field to practice and we see Charley Pride Field, we should have a little more pride in how we go about our work,” Texas Rangers’ third base coach Tony Beasley reportedly told the team on Sunday (March 14). 

“I think about all of his accomplishments, how he defeated the odds to be in the Country Music Hall of Fame as a Black man; to persevere through times of adversity. He did so many things in his life that you would think were not impossible. So, when I think about Charley Pride, I think about hope.”

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.