John L.R. Martin
As part of the 2007 Oklahoma Centennial celebration, this portrait of John Leonard Roosevelt “Pepper” Martin was installed on the west side of the Bricktown Ballpark.
He was born in Temple, Oklahoma on February 29, 1904 and grew up in Oklahoma City. As a rookie, he batted .500 in the World Series, taking everyone by surprise. His 12 hits from 24 at bats remains an unbeaten record for a series average. In a matter of no time, “Pepper” Martin became a baseball hero and spent 13 years as a St. Louis Cardinal before retiring and becoming a manager of multiple minor league teams. Upon retirement, Martin attracted crowds to his home in Quinton, Oklahoma where he told countless stories about his life, focusing on family and spiritual values. This time spent together eventually inspired Don McClanen to found the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a now nation-wide ministry. Martin passed away in March of 1965 when he was 61 years old.
In 2007, Oklahoma local artist Shan Gray was commissioned to honor Martin by creating this portrait bust and placing it outside of Oklahoma City’s ballpark.