Shepard, Jack L.
Class of: 1977


Jack Shepard was not only an outstanding high school, collegiate, and major league catcher; he was also extremely intelligent. His pitching teammate, Jake Abbott had high praise for his late Roosevelt High colleague. "Without a doubt, Jack Shepard was the best high school hitter I ever saw," Abbott said. "Jack was a slow runner and had just an average arm, but boy could he hit. He also was like having a coach on the field. He was so smart." Shepard was born in Clovis and honed his skills on the local playgrounds and recreational baseball leagues.

Shepard enrolled at Stanford University and set batting marks, some that still stand. He had 137 career RBIs, a three-year average of .362, and single season records for triples, runs scored, and runs batted in. In 1953, he was the Pacific Coast Conference MVP, a First Team All-American, and led Stanford to the District 8 title. In the summer of 1953, he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was chosen as the All-Star catcher in the Western League for the Denver Bears which earned him a promotion to the Pirates. In his first year, he was named the Sporting News Major League Rookie Catcher of the Year and the Pittsburgh Rookie of the Year. Shepherd was with the Pirates until 1956. When he returned to the Bay Area, he was president of the Atherton Little League from 1972 through 1974 and manager of the Atherton Little League Champion Tigers. He was instrumental in introducing the "Jugs" pitching machine for youth baseball. For many years, he was president of the Granger Associates in Menlo Park.

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