The Texas Rangers just paid tribute to country music legend Charley Pride who died at the age of 86 in December. On Sunday, the Rangers announced they are naming their baseball field at their spring training facility complex after Pride, who was a minority owner. The dedication was unveiled on Twitter, and the stadium's new name is Charley Pride Field.
"Mr. Pride's first love was baseball. He pitched professionally in the Negro and Minor Leagues throughout the 1950s before embarking on his Hall of Fame singing career of more than 60 years," the Rangers said in a statement following Pride's death. "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."
Introducing Charley Pride Field!
You are greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/v46HyO2EQ3— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) March 14, 2021
Pride died on Dec. 12 due to complications related to COVID-19. He was part of an ownership group that bought the Rangers in 2010 and would visit the team throughout the years. One of Pride's final performances was singing the national anthem in July 2020 at the first-ever baseball game played at the Rangers' new Globe Life Field in Arlington.
"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 December. "A longtime resident of this 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."
Pride was a two-time Negro League All-Star as a pitcher (1956-57). However, he gained more fame as a country singer, winning an Academy of Country Music Award in 1994, three American Music Awards and four Grammy Awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. Pride was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000 and is one of three African-American members of the Grand Ole Opry alongside DeFord Bailey and Darius Rucker. Some of his hits include "Honky Tonk Blues," "You Win Again," "Amazing Love," "Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town" and "She's Just An Old Love Turned Memory."