Curtis John Pride (born December 17, 1968) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder who is deaf. He is currently the head baseball coach at Gallaudet University. He batted left-handed and threw right-handed. In 2015, Pride was named MLB's Ambassador For Inclusion.
Pride with The President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition in 2011
|Born: December 17, 1968|
|September 14, 1993, for the Montreal Expos|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 1, 2006, for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim|
|Runs batted in||82|
Deaf at birth from rubella, Pride developed oral skills early in his life and graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. He excelled in baseball, basketball, and soccer in high school. After high school, Curtis Pride attended the College of William and Mary. He was the starting point guard on the basketball team. He also was an excellent soccer player who played for the United States at the 1985 FIFA U-16 World Championship in China and scored two goals in the tournament, including the match winner against Bolivia. He was named one of the top 15 youth prospects in the world for that year and was a 1986 Parade Magazine High School All American soccer player. Pride uses his 5% residual hearing to help him speak and is a fluent lip-reader.
Pride was originally signed by the New York Mets, but reached the major leagues with the Montreal Expos in 1993. At that time, he became the first deaf player in the majors since Dick Sipek in 1945. A left-handed hitter, with good plate discipline, and considerable speed, he never played regularly in the majors. Instead, he pinch hit or played in the outfield, usually left or right, as an injury replacement, and is regarded as an excellent fielder with a strong arm. His first Major League hit was September 17, 1993 in Montreal. Pride's first four hits in his major league career were a double, triple, home run, and single.
Pride became a free agent before the 1996 season and signed with the Detroit Tigers, where he played well in a part-time outfield role. With fewer than 300 plate appearances in 95 games, he compiled career-high numbers in batting average (.300), home runs (10), RBI (31), runs (52), hits (80), doubles (17) triples (5), and stolen bases (11). He was expected to gain more at bats in future seasons as a result. But 1997 found him on the disabled list and he was released and signed by the Red Sox. After that, he played with the Braves, returned to Boston and Montreal, and saw a little action with the Yankees. He was signed by the Anaheim Angels in the 2004 season and was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake Stingers. In 2005, he was signed to a minor league contract with the Angels and was called up after an injury to Vladimir Guerrero. He was returned to the minors after Guerrero recovered from the injury. After spending 2007 spring training as a non-roster invitee for the Angels, he was assigned to start the season as a member of the Salt Lake Bees.
In an eleven-season major league career, Pride batted .250 (199-for-796) with 20 home runs and 82 RBI in 421 major league games.
When he is not playing baseball, Pride and his wife Lisa are actively involved in the Together With Pride foundation, which aids hard-of-hearing children through a hearing aid bank, according to the foundation's website. There are several activities the foundation supports or hopes to support, such as a scholarship program, literacy, and mentoring.
In 1996, Pride received the Tony Conigliaro Award, given annually to an MLB player who best overcomes adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination, and courage. In 2016, he won the prestigious Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards.He keeps homes in both the Washington, D.C. area and Wellington, Florida.
- FIFA player profile
- 1986 Parade Magazine High School All American Soccer Team
- McEntire, Madison. "Seasons Cycles". BaseballLibrary.com. Archived from the original on November 18, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
- Jen McCaffrey (June 17, 2011). "Cape League Extra: Pride of the Gatemen". capecodtimes.com. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or Baseball-Reference (Minors), or Minor League Splits and Situational Stats[permanent dead link], or Retrosheet, or Venezuelan Professional Baseball League, or FIFA: Curtis Pride, or Together with Pride website