Pepper Martin

From BR Bullpen

Note: This page discusses 1920s-1940s player Pepper Martin. For the minor leaguer and college coach of the same name, click here.

Pepper Martin.jpg

Johnny Leonard Roosevelt Martin
(The Wild Horse Of The Osage)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 8", Weight 170 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

"A chunky, unshaven hobo who ran the bases like a berserk locomotive, slept in the raw, and swore at pitchers in his sleep." - Lee Allen, waxing eloquent about Pepper Martin

"Well, kid, you are sitting on top of the world now and you deserve it." - Mickey Cochrane, on the opposing team in the 1931 World Series, talking to Martin about his dominant performance

Pepper Martin, "The Wild Horse of the Osage", played his entire major league career with the St. Louis Cardinals. When he broke in as a young rookie in 1928, the oldest player on the team was Pete Alexander and the team went to the 1928 World Series. When he played his last year with the 1944 Cardinals who also went to the World Series, he was the oldest player on the team and Stan Musial was one of the youngest.

He was a key part of the Gas House Gang.Perhaps his light shone brightest during the 1931 World Series when he slugged .792, although in the 1934 World Series he slugged .516 as St. Louis won both Series.

After his playing career ended, he was a minor league manager for many years and a Chicago Cubs coach in 1956.

Outside of baseball, he was a deputy sheriff, director for a state penitentiary, and a cattle rancher.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 4-time NL All-Star (1933-1935 & 1937)
  • NL Runs Scored Leader (1933)
  • 3-time NL Stolen Bases Leader (1933, 1934 & 1936)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 3 (1933, 1935 & 1936)
  • Won three World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals (1931, 1934 & 1944; he did not play in the 1944 World Series)

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1941 Sacramento Solons Pacific Coast League 102-75 2nd St. Louis Cardinals Lost League Finals
1942 Sacramento Solons Pacific Coast League 105-73 1st St. Louis Cardinals Lost in 1st round
1943 Rochester Red Wings International League 74-78 5th St. Louis Cardinals
1945 San Diego Padres (PCL) Pacific Coast League 82-101 6th none
1946 San Diego Padres (PCL) Pacific Coast League 72-100 -- none -- replaced by Jim Brillheart (6-8) on September 10
1947 Greenville Spinners South Atlantic League 23-32 5th Brooklyn Dodgers replaced Frenchy Bordagaray (54-45)
1949 Miami Sun Sox Florida International League 85-58 -- Brooklyn Dodgers -- replaced by Bill Cates (2-4) on September 1
1950 Miami Sun Sox Florida International League 98-55 2nd Brooklyn Dodgers League Champs
1951 Miami Sun Sox Florida International League 77-61 3rd Brooklyn Dodgers Lost League Finals
1952 Miami Beach Flamingos Florida International League 103-49 2nd none Lost League Finals
1953 Fort Lauderdale Lions Florida International League 92-46 1st none League Champs
1954 Miami Beach Flamingos/
Greater Miami Flamingos
Florida International League 63-39 2nd none League disbanded on July 27
1954 Portsmouth Merrimacs Piedmont League 21-22 4th none Lost League Finals replaced Alex Monchak (50-47) on August 1
1955 Macon Peaches South Atlantic League 37-46 -- Chicago Cubs -- replaced by Ivy Griffin on July 8
Des Moines Bruins Western League 40-29 4th Chicago Cubs Lost League Finals replaced Burdette Thurlby (2-0) on July 7
1959 Miami Marlins International League 71-83 7th Baltimore Orioles

Further Reading[edit]

  • Thomas Barthel: Pepper Martin: A Baseball Biography, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2003. ISBN 978-0-7864-1602-8
  • Norm King: "Pepper Martin", in Charles F. Faber, ed.: The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals: The World Champion Gas House Gang, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 161-165. ISBN 978-1-933599-731

Related Sites[edit]