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Longtime fan honored as grandson throws out first pitch

The life of Dr. James “Jim” Turpin was honored by Pirates baseball fans and players at their first region game of the season March 21. The former Pike County Schools superintendent was one of the team’s biggest fans over the years and when the team earned their first state championship, he was also presented with a championship ring.

“Not only did Dr. Turpin serve 38 years as a coach, teacher, principal and superintendent but over the decades he is estimated to have attended over 700 Pirate baseball games,” said Diamond Club VP Michael Moody. “He obviously loved his family and Pirate baseball and to honor his legacy here at the Jack, his grandson Andrew will throw out the first pitch. Andrew attends Pike Middle School and runs track and cross country and plays recreation basketball. Andrew recently won first place for Pike middle in the 3,200 meter (2 mile) race with a time 12:34. On behalf of the generations of Pirates Dr. Turpin supported, let’s show our appreciation to the Turpin family.”

His love for sports started early and he played basketball and baseball in high school and college and was inducted into the Somerset High School Hall of Fame in Somerset, Kentucky. 

He went to Eastern Kentucky University before teaching physical education in fifth, seventh and eighth grades during the 1950s and 60s. He earned his master’s degree and became principal and director in Mason, Ohio before earning his education specialist degree from Georgia State University and his doctorate degree in administration and supervision from Nova University in 1976. He moved to Zebulon in 1978 and served as superintendent of the Pike County School System, retiring after 16 years with a total of 38 years in education.

Dr. Turpin passed away in October 2022 and was a dedicated member at the First Baptist Church of Zebulon.

“Dr. James “Doc” Turpin was no doubt the biggest supporter of Pike County High School Athletics. His love for this community and the school system was always on display as he never missed a chance to watch his beloved Pirates no matter where they were playing,” said superintendent Dr. Michael Duncan. “He will truly be missed but his legacy will forever live on in the hearts that he touched along the way. He will always be a champion not just on the diamond but in life as well.”

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