The Obit For George Scherger

George Richard Scherger Sr.
1920 - 2011

Published in Charlotte Observer from October 15 to October 17, 2011

Mr. Scherger, 90, of Charlotte, died October 13, 2011 at his residence. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Monday, October 17th at Saint Gabriel's Catholic Church with Rev. Frank O'Rourke, Celebrant. Interment will follow in Evergreen Cemetery.
Mr. Scherger was born November 10, 1920 in Dickinson, ND to the late John and Veronica Scherger. He was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Mozelle Spainhour Scherger, and his brother, Joseph Scherger.

George was retired from a long and successful career in professional baseball. He first was an infielder in the Brooklyn Dodgers' minor league organization (1940-1956). He also spent three years in the U.S. Army during World War II. Scherger served as a player/manager in the last nine years of his playing career.

When Sparky Anderson was named manager of the Cincinnati Reds for the 1970 season, Scherger was hired as first base coach. During the 1970's, the Reds, commonly known as The Big Red Machine, won four National League pennants and two World Series titles (1975 and 1976). George, nicknamed "Sugar Bear", and Sparky were best friends from when Sparky broke into the Dodgers organization in 1953. After Anderson's dismissal from the Reds in 1978, Scherger was named manager of the Double-A Southern League's Nashville Sounds. In 1979, he managed the Sounds to win the SL championship. In 1981, Scherger took over as manager of the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians. In 1982, The Sporting News named Scherger Minor League Manager of the Year.

George returned to the Reds as a coach from 1982 to 1986. He was once described by Reds player/manager Pete Rose as the 'smartest baseball mind in the world.' George was eternally grateful to Sparky and Pete for their friendship, and the many opportunities and experiences he had in the major leagues. In addition to his love of baseball, George was also an avid fisherman.

Survivors include his daughter, Teresa S. Martin and her husband, Richard, of Mint Hill; sons, George R. Scherger, Jr. and wife, Jane, of Shelby, NC, Joseph J. Scherger and wife, Terri, of Charlotte, Daniel M. Scherger and wife, Marion, of Charlotte; and brothers, Leo Scherger and Donald Scherger, both of New York. Mr. Scherger is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

The family wishes to express its appreciation to the staffs of Hospice of Charlotte and Seniors Helping Seniors for the loving care and attention given to both George and the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Holy Angels, P.O. Box 710, Belmont, NC 28012, or to Hospice & Palliative Care, 1420 E. Seventh St., Charlotte, NC 28204.