Pepper Martin

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Johnny Leonard Roosevelt “Pepper” Martin (February 29, 1904 - March 5, 1965) was a Major League Baseball player. Martin, who was also known as the “Wild Horse of the Osage”, was a third baseman and outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals' “Gashouse Gang” during the 1930s. He was one of the most colorful and exciting players of his era.

Martin spent seven years in the Cardinals farm system. In 1930 he batted .363 for Rochester in the International League. In 1931 Martin batted .300 as the Cardinals won the National League pennant. In the World Series that year, Martin batted .500 and stole 5 bases as the Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Athletics 4 games to 3. During the series Martin was asked how he had learned to run so fast; he replied “I grew up in Oklahoma, and once you start runnin' out there there ain't nothin' to stop you”. [1] That year Martin was selected as male athlete of the year by the Associated Press.

Martin was a speedy runner who was often was near the league lead in runs scored, triples and stolen bases.

In 1934 Martin helped the Cardinals to win the World Series again as he batted .355 and stole 2 more bases to beat the Detroit Tigers in seven games.

Pepper has the third highest World Series career batting average ever at .418, and is tied for ninth in stolen bases with seven.

Martin retired at the age of 40 in 1944 having played his whole career with the Cardinals. Over his 13 seasons he had a .298 batting average and stole 146 bases.

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