Charley Pride, the country music Hall of Famer who was also a part-owner of the Texas Rangers and a former Negro Leagues and minor league baseball player, has died today at the age of 86 from COVID-19 complications, it was announced today.
Pride, originally from Mississippi, pitched for Negro League teams in the 1950s and 1960s, and had a couple of very brief stints for the farm teams of the New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds. After his professional baseball career ended, he performed country music while living in Montana, and eventually broke through and become a major country music star, with 29 #1 hits on the country charts, ultimately becoming the first African American in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
For years, Pride would spend time working out with the Rangers at spring training, and when the new ownership group bought the team from Tom Hicks in 2010, Pride was one of the minority owners.
Its a big loss for music fans and for the Texas Rangers family, as well as those of us who have been fans of his music over the years. Below is my favorite Charley Pride song, “Mountain of Love.”