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Lafayette Drillers Flashback: Tony Pepper

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

 

The Lafayette Drillers, a Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, called Lafayette, Louisiana their home for two years, from 1975-1976.

The Drillers, who played their home games at Clark Field, were co-champions of the Texas League in 1975 with the Midland Cubs, finishing 72-57, before going 58-76 in 1976, the last year of affiliated professional baseball in Lafayette.

A number of outstanding players, who eventually made it into Major League Baseball ranks played at Clark Field in 1975 & 1976, including five former Lafayette Driller players.

All summer long, we’re taking a look back at some of the former players for the Drillers.

Today, Tony Pepper:

Pepper was a first baseman/outfielder for the Drillers during the 1976 season.

A native of Sacramento, California, Pepper attended Grant Union High School in his hometown, before being drafted in the second round of the 1971 Major League Baseball Draft by the San Francisco Giants at the age of 18.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Pepper made minor league stops in Great Falls, Montana, Seattle, Washington, Decatur, Georgia, Fresno, California, Amarillo, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona before joining the Drillers in 1976, at the age of 23.

With Lafayette, Pepper hit a .258, along with 13 home runs, 64 runs batted in, and eight stolen bases.

In 396 at-bats, Pepper, a left-handed hitter, collected 102 hits, including 15 doubles, and four triples, along with 44 walks and 51 strikeouts.

Defensively, Pepper played in 81 games at first base, and another 24 in the outfield, committing 15 total errors.

Pepper went on to play two more seasons of professional baseball, spending time in Midland, Texas and Wichita, Kansas, before retiring, having never made it past the AAA level.

Pepper compiled a .261 career batting average, along with 74 home runs, 449 RBI’s, and 52 stolen bases in 831 minor league games, covering eight seasons.

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