The new Fellowship Program honors the late Country Music legend, who had a strong connection to the Texas Rangers organization for more than 50 years. The details of the program were in the process of being finalized when Mr. Pride passed away on Dec. 12, 2020 at the age of 86, the ball club said in a news release.
Officials from the Texas Rangers were joined in making the announcement by Mr. Pride’s wife, Rozene Pride, his longtime friends and fellow Country Music stars Garth Brooks, Larry Gatlin, and Neal McCoy, and prominent Dallas businessman Roland Parrish, whose Parrish Charitable Foundation is partnering with the Rangers Foundation in the Pride Fellowship Program.
The announcement March 18 came on what would have been Mr. Pride’s 87th birthday.
The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation established the Charley Pride Fellowship Program to help create a launching pad for students from diverse backgrounds looking to gain baseball front office experience.
The Foundation will hire, train and support five Fellows per year as they rotate through three front office departments. Fellows will select their departmental rotation based on their interests, the announcement said.
The Charley Pride Fellowship Program creates an entirely new experience offered by the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.
It does not take the place of any existing internships or full-time positions. These students will gain valuable cross-disciplinary skills that will benefit them should they choose to pursue a career in professional baseball or any other industry, the news release said.
Charley Pride is an American icon and Texas treasure that has exemplified military service, music entertainment and America’s pastime, baseball. He recorded more than 30 No. 1 hits with Grammy and Country Music Association Awards, but his first love was always baseball, the news release said.
Mr. Pride 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. He 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 the spring of 2020.
On March 14, 2021, the Rangers honored Charley’s memory by dedicating one of the practice fields at their Surprise, Arizona complex as Charley Pride Field.
The Rangers were honored to have Charley be a part of the team’s ownership group for more than 10 years. A longtime resident of Dallas-Fort Worth area, he was a regular at Rangers 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, 2020.
Details of the program:
- Seeking employees from diverse backgrounds to apply
- Candidates must be rising juniors or seniors (enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program) with a minimum GPA of 2.5
- A passion for and knowledge of baseball is helpful but not required
- A 10-week commitment to participate in Pride Fellowship Program The application must include a resume, a cover letter, a transcript, a personal statement (500 words or less) and two letters of recommendation.
- April 23, 2021: Applications Due
- May 3, 2021: Selected Finalists Notified
- May 31, 2021: First Day of Fellowship
- Aug. 6, 2021: Last Day of Fellowship