MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Gallaudet University baseball head coach Curtis Pride will participate in the Myrtle Beach Pelicans' Deaf Awareness Night at Pelicans Ballpark on Sunday, Aug. 19. The Pelicans, the Single-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, play host to the Buies Creek Astros, the Single-A affiliate for the Houston Astros, at 6:05 p.m.
Coach Pride along with Pelicans players and coaches will host a free youth baseball clinic for members of the deaf community. Registration for the clinic is available on www.MyrtleBeachPelicans.com.
Gates will open at 3:30 p.m. for the 6:05 p.m. game. Pregame events include an Intro to American Sign Language (ASL) class, a Q&A session with Coach Pride for all fans in attendance and a bonus VIP Meet & Greet with Coach Pride for members of the deaf community.
Pride, a Maryland native who was born deaf, played in 421 Major League games across parts of 11 seasons. He has served as MLB's Ambassador for Inclusion since January 2016. He has coached Gallaudet's baseball program for the past 10 seasons where the Bison have won 136 games and 59 conference games.
To increase awareness and raise funds for the deaf community, the Pelicans will wear specially-designed jerseys that replace the traditional Pelicans script with American Sign Language. The club will hold a free raffle for the commemorative jerseys to members of the deaf community. In addition, a select number of team-signed jerseys will be auctioned off, with the proceeds benefitting the deaf community.
In an effort to create an inclusive experience for members of the deaf community, sign language interpreters will be infused into the Pelicans' gameday experience. The night will include a silent inning. Additionally, Jason Hurdich, an RID certified deaf interpreter, will perform the National Anthem, and for the first time in club history, the Seventh Inning Stretch will be performed by an ASL interpreter. The Pelicans have also added a postgame Fireworks Extravaganza.
Pride, who has been deaf since birth, played in 421 Major League games across parts of 11 seasons (1993, 1995-2001, 2003-2006) as an outfielder. The Maryland native finished with a .250 career batting average, 20 home runs and 82 RBI after playing for the Montreal Expos, the Detroit Tigers, the Boston Red Sox, the Atlanta Braves, the New York Yankees and the Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels. The College of William & Mary product was a regular season contributor to four Clubs that reached the postseason and played in the 2004 Division Series with the American League West Champion Angels. The 421 games are by far the most played by a deaf player since William Hoy ended his Major League career more than 110 years ago in 1902. Pride is a proud graduate of The College of William and Mary (Class of 1990).