There’s only one small catch: It’s a Charley Pride bobblehead night on April 15.
This is to take nothing away from the late Mr. Pride, whose trailblazing life as a Black artist inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame (and former minor league ballplayer) definitely makes him worthy of such a tribute. His bobblehead looks cool too!
But it’s pretty insulting to be a Dallas/Fort Worth LGBTQ baseball fan in 2022 and realize the closest your team is going to come to a promotion celebrating your community is through a pun.
The Rangers have 34 “community nights” listed on their 2022 schedule and not one of them is Pride-related. In fact, reading this part of the promotional calendar is a bit deflating as you realize just how many communities the team would prefer to recognize over of its LGBTQ fanbase.
Perhaps on Weather Day, we can make it start raining men. But even then, the Rangers would just close their ballpark’s roof.
Texas is the last holdout in Major League Baseball refusing to add Pride Night to its calendar. As out Rangers beat writer Alex Plinck posted on his Medium blog last season, there’s a strong suspicion that this is because some high ranking member of the organization’s front office is dead set against the concept.
Considering how well attended most Pride Nights are, it must take astonishing levels of homophobia to make a baseball executive say no to the concept of higher profits.
Under their current team management, it feels like no amount of external pressure is going to convince the Rangers to join this century and embrace their LGBTQ community. Instead, it feels like the time is right for queer Rangers fans to take matters into their own hands.
If the team isn’t going to make any gestures of welcome, then Dallas and Fort Worth LGBTQ sports fans should pick a date on the schedule and organize their own informal Pride Night. Perhaps even using Out at Wrigley as a model.
It would be a way to show the Rangers that our community is still going to show up and say “We’re here,” even if the team is uncomfortable with that fact. After all, one of the best things about a rainbow is that it doesn’t need to be licensed by Major League Baseball.