George Richard Scherger Sr.
1920 - 2011
Published in Charlotte Observer from October 15 to October
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
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
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.