Career: 1953-58Position: p Teams:Memphis Red Sox('53,'58),Birmingham Black Barons ('54)
Before embarking on a highly successful career as a country music singer, Charlie Pride was a pitcher with a "pretty good little curve" for the Memphis Red Sox and the Birmingham Black Barons during the early '50s. He was first discovered when he pitched for a sandlot team against the the Memphis Red Sox. In his first tryout with the Red Sox, he failed to stick with the club, but he was more successful in his second effort. At that time the Negro American League was struggling to survive the loss of players to organized baseball and had declined to a strictly minor-league status. A measure of the financial status of the league at that time is indicated by an unconfirmed story that Pride and the right fielder were traded for a team bus.