Class of 2003
Ray Pepper was known as "Alabama Slam" in his Major League Baseball playing days. The Belle Mina resident died in 1996 at the age of 90.
Pepper attended Decatur High School where he played all sports. He went to college at Alabama as a three-sport athlete and played on the football team that tied Stanford 7-7 in the Rose Bowl. In 1927, he won the Porter Loving Cup, which was given to Alabama's best all-around athlete.
In 1929, Pepper signed with the St. Louis Cardinals for a $5,800 annual salary. He played in the minors for most of five years, leading those teams to four straight pennants.
He started playing left field for the St. Louis Browns in 1934 when he led the team in hits and made the All-Star freshman team. He hit seven home runs, drove in 101 runs, collected 168 hits and had a .298 batting average that year.
Pepper finished with a lifetime batting average of .281. He hit 14 home runs, knocked in 170 runs and had 285 hits in 1,015 at-bats. He played in 339 major league games against the likes of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.