Rangers announce 2022 Pride Fellowship

January 21st, 2022

ARLINGTON -- Country music star and Texas legend Charley Pride’s memory is living on within the Texas Rangers. 

This week, the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation has officially opened applications for the second year of the Charley Pride Fellowship Program, which will accept college students of diverse backgrounds to intern in front office departments for the second season in a row. 

“[The program has] exceeded all of our expectations,”  said Rangers senior vice president of community impact Karin Morris. “The level of what our organization did with the fellows and what they were able to experience was incredible. And I think they actually brought a sense of excitement and purpose to so many people… We're excited to see it continue in a second year.”

The program was initially presented to the club by Pride before his passing in December 2020 and has become an important part of the diversification of the Rangers organization.

Dallas businessman Roland Parrish and his Parrish Charitable Foundation are once again partnering with the Rangers Foundation to put on the Fellowship Program in honor of Pride, who became part of the club’s ownership group in 2010.

“It was a passion point for him,” Morris said. “He always mentioned how he would come into meetings as an owner and he realized he was the only person of color in that room. He was equally as proud to hold a card that said he was owner of the Rangers as he was to the Country Music Hall of Fame. He wanted his legacy and his story to carry on into those in the front office.”

Five fellows will be selected across hundreds of applicants to train with the Rangers' front office, rotated through various departments throughout the summer, including but not limited to ballpark operations, baseball operations and communications.

After just one year, the Fellowship Program has already presented further opportunities for the participants. Ashley Go, a 2021 Fellow, is now interning with the NWSL’s Washington Spirit. Kendall Coleman, also a 2021 Fellow, will return to work with the Rangers' baseball operations and scouting department following his graduation from the University of North Texas.

“I will forever be in debt to the Texas Rangers for giving me this incredible career opportunity in sports,” Go said. “This Fellowship not only introduced me to the most supportive people, but it also gave me valuable experiences that don’t come often in life. I am grateful to have learned more about baseball, but more importantly learned how many different and amazing people it takes to put together a successful organization.”

Morris said that the first class was exceptional but the entire organization learned a lot from the first year of the Fellowship Program. On emphasis moving forward will be to try to create a larger HBCU pipeline and create relationships with these colleges across the country.

She further emphasized the importance of diversifying the Rangers' organization moving forward, not only through the Pride Fellowship Program, but throughout the everyday hiring practices of the club.

“We've all taken a step back and realized the diversification of ideas and conversations and people coming from different backgrounds makes you better as an organization,” Morris said. “But it also makes you stronger and understand your fan base better. This program, and then what we're able to do with the kids we work with daily at the [Texas Rangers Youth Academy], we’re hearing their stories and hearing the diversity that is in this community. Those voices are all important and they're all our fans. It's imperative to having the entire organization buy in.”

To apply for the 2022 Charley Pride Fellowship Program, visit texasrangers.com/charleypridefellowship.