#Hot Corner

Kiss a Ranger Good Mornin'

According to most sources, today is Charley Pride's 75th birthday.

According to Baseball-Reference.com, today is Charley Pride's 77th birthday.

Why might Charley Pride be two years older than most people think? Well, because in addition to being a member of both the Grand Ole Opry and the Country & Western Music Hall of Fame, Charley Pride is also an ex-baseball player. And when Charley Pride was a young man, a lot of baseball players were a year or two or three older than they said.

Pride seems to have gotten his start in professional baseball in 1953, with the Negro American League's Memphis Red Sox. He also pitched some with the Birmingham Black Barons in 1954, and again with Memphis in '58. Pride also pitched some Class C and D ball in Organized Baseball. With his baseball career not going anywhere, though, he moved his family to Helena, Montana, in 1960, and got a job at a local smelter. And it was in Helena that he first impressed a couple of country-music personalities with his singing talents.

Of course, the catch was that Pride was black. But he went to Nashville anyway, and eventually became one of the business's biggest stars. He never lost his love for baseball, though, and now has a small stake in the Texas Rangers. In his autobiography, Pride wrote of his wife, "She was smart, beautiful, independent and could explain the infield fly rule. What else could a guy want?

Here's Pride, just a few years ago, singing his biggest hit:


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