Remember When Charley Pride Played Professional Baseball?
The highlight of Charley Pride‘s baseball career was probably the four innings of an all-star game he pitched, during which he got a chance to stare down the likes of Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. Ultimately, professional ball didn’t work out for him, but those long bus rides gave him a chance to entertain teammates and hone his guitar skills.
Pride was a pitcher for the Memphis Red Sox and Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro League. He played from 1953 to 1958 and bounced around a few times — legend has it he and another teammate were once traded for a used bus. Pride says he had a “pretty good little curve,” but it was never good enough to earn a contract in the Major Leagues.
Pride’s music career began shortly after he called it quits on the diamond, but he wouldn’t score a country hit until 1966 when ‘Just Between You and Me’ reached the Top 10. The ‘Kiss an Angel Good Mornin” singer would hit No. 1 29 times during a long music career that earned him a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.