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Sunday, August 23, 2020

TTM Success - Charley Pride

I saw that former Negro Leaguer and Country Music Hall of Famer, Charley Pride was signing TTM, so he became someone else that I put on a checklist from my 1987 Topps set.  Recently someone asked me why I sent the checklist cards, and really it is when I have nothing else I can send, that I'll send one of these out.  Also, if they were active in 87, that helps.
Pride signed my Texas Rangers sticker upside down, but it is still signed.  He was drafted by the Rangers in a ceremonial Negro League draft several years ago, which is why the Rangers card was sent.  I'm sure if I looked around hard enough, I would have found one of those Country Gold cards for him to sign.  I have no clue where I would have any of those, so these two cards got sent instead.

Pride (b. 1934) played for the Memphis Red Sox of the Negro Leagues in 1952.  He was picked up by the Boise Yankees in 1953, the Yankees Class C minor league team.  He suffered an injury, which cause him to lose some velocity on his fastball, so he was dropped to the Yankees Class D team, the Fon Du Lac (Wisconsin) Yankees.  During that season, he and teammate, Jesse Mitchell were traded to the Birmingham Black Barons for a team bus, according to Pride's autobiography.

His mother had given him a guitar when he was 14, and he taught himself how to play.  After serving in the Army in the mid-50s, and a failed attempt at making pro ball, Pride began singing for the semi-pro team he was playing for.  During his time playing in Memphis, he recorded a few songs for Sun Records.  Those songs didn't make the music charts, but Pride continued to perform for small clubs and such while he was playing baseball and living in Montana.  Eventually, he would sign with RCA Victor and his music career would take off.

Pride and his brother, Mack "The Knife" Pride", along with 28 other living former Negro Leaguers, would be drafted by Major League teams during the ceremonial draft in 2008.  Pride was drafted by the Rangers, the team of which he is a part owner, and his brother was drafted by the Rockies.  His brother passed away in 2018.

I mailed to Pride on May 4 and got the cards back on June 9, for a 36-day TAT.