Thursday, December 17, 2020

Happy Birthday, Curtis Pride!

Image from Gallaudet University
It's Curtis Pride's birthday. He was born 95% deaf on Dec 17, 1968, in the Washington, D.C suburbs. In high school, he excelled in soccer, becoming a 1986 Parade Magazine High School All American soccer player. In college, at William and Mary, he was the starting point guard on the basketball team. The New York Mets drafted Pride in round 10 of the 1986 MLB draft.  The only deaf player in the major leagues during the modern era, Pride played for 11 years in the majors as an outfielder and pinch hitter and a dozen more in the minors. He hit 20 home runs in his 421 major league games with such teams as the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, and Los Angeles Angels.  He was mainstreamed as a child, played multiple sports in high school, and graduated with a 3.6 GPA. Pride now coaches the Gallaudet University, baseball team. He told Parade Magazine in 1994, "I never let my deafness hold me back. I never feel sorry for myself. Never. I know I have a disability. I've accepted it. I can't worry about it. I want to make the most of my life. And I am." In 2015, Pride was named MLB's Ambassador For Inclusion. He is currently the head baseball coach at Gallaudet University, a position he has held for a decade.