George Richard Scherger (Sugar Bear)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 8", Weight 183 lb.
- School Seton Hall University
George Scherger was a second baseman for 14 years (1940-1956), all in the low minors (1940-1942; 1946-1956), losing three years to the Military. He broke into Organized Baseball at age 19 with Superior in the Northern League. With Superior, he hit .319 in 20 games and moved on to Newport in the Northeast Arkansas League (1940-1941), the Olean Oilers in the PONY League (1942) and the Kingsport Dodgers in the Appalachian League (1942).
He entered the U.S. Armed Forces for World War II (BR). Discharged when the War was over, he returned to the minors with Danville in the Three-I League (1946), Kingston in the North Atlantic League through July 22, 1947, Thomasville in the North Carolina State League (1947), Olean again in the PONY League (1948), Three Rivers in the Canadian-American League (1949-1950), Ponca City in the K.O.M. League (1951), Santa Barbara in the California League (1952-1953), Newport News in the Piedmont League (1954-1955) and Cedar Rapids in the Three-I League (1956), ending his playing career at age 35.
He played in the lower minors, never higher then the California League. He hit over .300 in two seasons. The second baseman led the Canadian-American and K-O-M Leagues in fielding in 1949 and 1951, respectively. In 1948, his best year in the minors, he had 161 hits, 95 runs, 49 doubles, 6 triples, 3 home runs and 60 RBI at .324/~.379/.465 in 127 games. Overall in the minors, he had 837 hits, 589 runs, 172 doubles, 53 triples, 11 home runs and 413 RBI at .253/~.311/.347 in 971 games.
He was a player-manager from 1947 to 1956 and then turned to managing and coaching full-time with Panama City in the Alabama-Florida League (1961), Ozark-Andalusia in the Alabama-Florida League (1962), Salisbury in the Western Carolinas League (1963-1964), St. Petersburg in the Florida State League (1965), Tampa in the Florida State League (1967-1968) and the GCL Reds in the Gulf Coast League (1969). George had managed for 19 years at levels never higher then the Three-I League. His teams finished first five times. Scherger also managed the Cincinnati franchises in the Florida Instructional Leagues from 1967 through 1969.
He was a coach for the Cincinnati Reds (1970-1978). Scherger replaced Chuck Goggin as manager of the Nashville Sounds in the Southern Association in 1979. He was named manager of the Indianapolis Indians of the American Association in 1981 and returned to Cincinnati as a coach (1982-1986).
- Led Canadian-American League second basemen in fielding average (.968), 1949
- Led K-O-M League second basemen in fielding average (.980), 1951
Awards and honors
- "With a man on second base and two outs, there is no better hitter in all of baseball than Tony Perez."
- "He was my first manager I ever had in 1953 when I broke into the Dodgers organization. I begged him to come with me. I used to say, 'George, what does that sign say over there?' He'd say, 'Manager.' I said, 'Funny thing it's on my door. I got the title, and you're the skipper.' --Sparky Anderson
- "Sparky did a great job with the superstars, keeping them happy. Larry Shepard, the pitching coach, more or less kept the pitchers happy. George Scherger kept (the utility players) happy. Klu (Ted Kluszewski) sat in the dugout and kept everybody happy. And Alex Grammas kept Sparky happy." --Jack Billingham on the Big Red Machine.
Year-by-Year Managerial Record
Principal sources for George Scherger include newspaper obituaries (OB), government Veteran records (VA,CM,CW), Stars & Stripes (S&S), Sporting Life (SL), The Sporting News (TSN), The Sports Encyclopedia:Baseball 2006 by David Neft & Richard Cohen (N&C), old Who's Who in Baseballs (none) (WW), old Baseball Registers (1970-1978) (BR) , old Daguerreotypes by TSN (none) (DAG), Stars&Stripes (S&S), The Baseball Necrology by Bill Lee (BN), Pat Doyle's Professional Ballplayer DataBase (PD), The Baseball Library (BL), Baseball in World War II Europe by Gary Bedingfield (GB) and The Southern Association in Baseball, 1885-1961 by Marshall D. Wright; The American Association: Year-By-Year Statistics for the Baseball Minor League, 1902-1952 by Marshall D. Wright and independent research by Walter Kephart (WK) and Frank Russo (FR) and others.