Photo: Doug Pensinger, Getty Images
Don Pepper, Jr. was a heck of a baseball player, one of the hottest prospects coming out of upstate New York when he signed with the Detroit Tigers. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1968 along with Johnny Bench as the “Rookies to Watch.” Alas, the expansion Montreal Expos snagged Pepper from the Tigers and the promise soon faded. Given the choice between a AAA stint in Vancouver and returning home, Pepper packed his suitcase and headed to Saratoga Springs, where he worked on the family turkey farm before becoming an insurance agent and the owner of the area’s only lighted driving range.
In his spare time, he taught his daughter, Dottie, to play golf.
Those stories and more are told in Dottie Pepper’s new book, “Letters to a Future Champion: My time with Mr. Pulver,” a labor of love that the two-time major champion crafted during the COVID-19 pandemic as a tribute to mentorship.
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