Pepper pitched in 44 games over parts of three seasons in the major leagues. A bonus-baby in 1954, Pepper had to stay with the major league team per MLB rules, thus he got no seasoning in the minor leagues prior to making his big league debut. The lack of experience showed, as Pepper went 1-5 with a 7.99 ERA in 1954 and 0-1 with a 10.35 ERA in 1955. He was 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA the following year and saw action in five games in 1957, but that was it for his time in the majors. He spent the following six seasons pitching in the minors, but never got the call back up to the show and retired after pitching at AAA in 1963. Pepper’s final career mark was 2-8 with a 7.06 ERA.
Pepper was an accomplished athlete before signing with the Pirates. He was an All-American football player in 1953 at the University of Southern Mississippi where he rushed for 1,868 yards in his career. He is a member of the USM Hall of Fame and still holds the school records for yards per carry both in a season and a career. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers to play football, but chose to pursue his baseball career instead. Following his playing days, Pepper was the football coach at Ocean Springs High School in Mississippi where he had 25 winning seasons and 12 conference championships.
Laurin Pepper – career stats