ARLINGTON -- The Rangers presented Charley Pride with his own jersey during on-field ceremonies while a crowd of over 30,000 gave him a standing ovation. The framed No. 5 jersey and a pair of custom-made Texas Rangers boots were presented to Pride by club president Nolan Ryan, vice president Jim Sundberg and Lucchese Boots owner John Muse. The presentation was made after the third inning. "This was very nice," said Pride, who also sang the national anthem. "I had no idea this was going happen but I'm glad they did. The reception by the crowd, the feeling of standing there next to the great Nolan Ryan and being around ballplayers makes me feel wonderful."
Price was officially "drafted" by the Rangers during the 2008 June First-Year Player Draft as part of Major League Baseball honoring living Negro League Players. Each Major League team drafted one player from the Negro Leagues and Pride was the obvious choice for the Rangers. A long-time Dallas resident, the country-western singing legend has been going to Spring Training and working out with the Rangers almost every year since they moved here from Washington D.C. in 1971. Pride played for the Memphis Red Sox, Louisville Clippers and Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues and was a former Minor Leaguer in the Yankees farm system. He later had tryouts with the Mets and Angels before embarking fulltime on a highly successful musical career.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.