Arlington, Texas — The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation today announced the creation of the Charley Pride Fellowship Program, offering rising college Juniors and Seniors a ten-week internship opportunity with the team’s front office.
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 December 12, 2020 at the age of 86.
Officials from the Texas Rangers were joined in making today’s 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.
Today 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 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.
Additional program details and application requirements are outlined below:
Charley Pride is an American icon and Texas treasure that has exemplified military service, music entertainment and America’s pastime, baseball. Having recorded over 30 number 1 hits with Grammy and Country Music Association Awards under his belt, Charley’s first love was always baseball. He pitched professionally in the Negro and Minor Leagues throughout the 1950’s 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 ten 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.
The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation established the Charley Pride Fellowship Program to help create a launching pad for rising juniors and seniors in college from diverse backgrounds to gain experience inside a baseball front office. The Foundation will hire, train and support the five Fellows as they transition through a ten-week rotation within different Texas Rangers Baseball Club departments. Those departments available for these fellows to work include, IT Operations & Applications, Sports & Entertainment, Baseball Operations, Partnerships & Client Services, Marketing, Ballpark Entertainment, Promotions & Production, Ticket Sales & Service, Business Analytics & Ticket Strategy. These students will be able to experience firsthand what front office executives experience daily while exposing them to the business side of baseball. This unique opportunity will place candidates in roles with the Rangers while providing them with valuable cross-disciplinary experience which will benefit them should they choose to pursue a career in professional baseball or any other industry.
- Seeking employees from diverse backgrounds to apply
- Candidates must be rising Juniors or Seniors (enrolled in a bachelor's degree program)
- Minimum GPA of 2.5
- A passion for and knowledge of baseball is helpful but not required
- A ten-week commitment to participate in Pride Fellowship Program
- Cover letter
- A personal statement (500 words or less)
- Two letters of recommendation
Pride Fellow Implementation
The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation will provide five Pride Fellows per calendar year for other departments within the organization. These fellows would not take the place of existing ball club internships, but rather have a different experience provided to them.
Pride Fellows would commit to:
- A ten-week opportunity, 20-hour work week
- A three-department rotation based on their interests
- No absences (unless excused due to illness, etc.)
A “Charley Pride Fellow” will be able to select three departments to work in during their time with the Rangers. This person will be able to experience firsthand what front office executives experience daily while exposing them to the professional baseball industry. Departments available to fellows include, IT Operations & Applications, Sports & Entertainment, Baseball Operations, Partnerships & Client Services, Marketing, Ballpark Entertainment, Promotions & Production, Ticket Sales & Service, Business Analytics & Ticket Strategy.
- March 18, 2021: Applications Open
- April 23, 2021: Applications Due
- May 3, 2021: Selected Finalists Notified
- May 31, 2021: First Day of Fellowship
- August 6, 2021: Last Day of Fellowship
COMMENTS ON THE CHARLEY PRIDE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
Neil Leibman, Texas Rangers President, Business Operations and Chief Operating Officer and Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation Chairman:
“The Charley Pride Fellows program honors the legacy of Charley Pride as a pioneer and trailblazer and is designed to create future trailblazers in front offices of baseball organizations starting here with the Rangers.”
Roland Parrish, Dallas businessman and Chairman, Parrish Charitable Foundation:
To whom much is given, much is required
CREATING AN OPPORTUNITY
“Being able to partner with the Pride family, and the Texas Rangers is kind of like re-living the “Field of Dreams.”
“Whenever possible, whether personally, thru my business or foundation, we support creating windows of opportunity for young minds, thru Scholarships. Providing the opportunity for students to elevate themselves. To live the American Dream.
“This is an opportunity to work for a unique business organization. A Major League Baseball team. Students will be exposed to grass roots operations, all the way to network television and radio production.
“Mr. Pride, was an inspiration. A participant in the legendary Negro league and a lover of the game (baseball). Additionally, a Grammy award winning artist.
We look forward to the partnership!”
Neal McCoy, Country Music Star:
“Charley Pride changed my life the day I met him. A man already at the top of his game didn’t need to mess with an inexperienced young singer but he did. Letting me use his band to open shows, he gave me the experience of performing all over the world with him also giving me the opportunity to hone my craft eventually signing a Major record deal and the rest is history.
“Knowing how he felt about helping people and experiencing some of the things he did throughout his Country music career only lets me know how proud Charley and his wife Rozene will be to know he was the inspiration for the Pride Fellows program. I can see him smiling down now seeing that others maybe not so fortunate will be able to hone their craft, whatever that might be, within the Texas Rangers organization!!!!”