Donald George Leppert (born October 19, 1931) is an American former professional baseball player and coach. A catcher, he appeared in the Major Leagues from 1961–1964 for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Senators. Leppert threw and batted right-handed; he stood 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and weighed 220 pounds (100 kg).
During an MLB career of only 3½ years, Leppert nonetheless distinguished himself by hitting a home run on the first pitch thrown to him in the Majors on June 18, 1961. Then, on April 11, 1963, he hit three homers in a game.
In the former game, Leppert connected in the second inning of his MLB debut against Curt Simmons of the St. Louis Cardinals; the blow gave the Pirates a 2–1 lead in a game they would eventually win, 5–3.
In the latter contest, Leppert's third game in the American League, he hit a solo shot off Ike Delock in the fourth inning, then belted a three-run blast and another solo homer off relief pitcher Chet Nichols, as the Senators humbled the Boston Red Sox, 8–0, at DC Stadium. To top it off, Leppert caught Tom Cheney's one-hit shutout, with the Washington pitcher striking out ten Red Sox. That season, Leppert was selected as a reserve on the American League All-Star team, but he did not play in the July 9 game at Cleveland Stadium.
In 190 Major League games, Leppert collected 122 hits and 15 home runs.
After his playing career ended in the minors in 1966, Leppert managed in Class A in the Pittsburgh organization in 1967. He then embarked upon an 18-year stint as a Major League coach for the Pirates (1968–1976), Toronto Blue Jays (1977–1979) and Houston Astros (1980–1985). In the late 1980s, he served as field coordinator of minor league instruction for the Minnesota Twins and managed in the Twins' farm system.
He is sometimes confused with Don Eugene Leppert, a second baseman who played one year in Major League Baseball with the 1955 Baltimore Orioles.
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By Dean Hanley
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