Heinie Scheer

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Heinie Scheer
Heinie Scheer.jpg
Second baseman
Born: (1900-07-31)July 31, 1900
New York, New York
Died: March 21, 1976(1976-03-21) (aged 75)
New Haven, Connecticut
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 20, 1922 for the Philadelphia Athletics
Last MLB appearance
September 26, 1923 for the Philadelphia Athletics
Career statistics
Batting average .212
Hits 73
Runs batted in 33
Teams

Henry William "Heinie" Scheer (July 31, 1900 – March 21, 1976) was an American second baseman in Major League Baseball. He played for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1922 to 1923.

Born in The Bronx, New York City, he played baseball for the Tremont Triangles, Highbridge Athletics, Bronx Giants, Brooklyn Bushwicks, and Bay Parkways. He began his professional baseball career in 1921 playing for the Hartford Senators in the Eastern League.[1] In his first year of professional baseball, Scheer impressed observers by playing error free baseball for the first 23 games of the season. He accepted 124 chances without making an error in April and May 1921.[2] In September 1921, Scheer was sold by the Senators to the Philadelphia Athletics for $5,000.[3][4]

Scheer developed a reputation as an exceptional defensive player, but he was weak as a batter.[5] In March 1922, he was given a shot with the Philadelphia Athletics. The Hartford Courant wrote at the teim: "If 'Heinie' Scheer can come through with the old wallop against big league pitching he will be one of the sensations of baseballdom."[6]

Scheer appeared in 41 games and compiled a .170 batting average for the 1922 Athletics team that finished in seventh place in the American League with a record of 65–89.[7][8]

Scheer returned to the Athletics in 1923. He appeared in 69 games and raising his batting average by 63 points from .170 in 1922 to .238 in 1923.[9] In June 1923, one reporter noted Scheer's improvement as a batter: "The player was a frail lad and shy on hitting, but the youngster is getting some power behind his blows now."[10] In two seasons of Major League Baseball, Scheer appeared in 120 games, including 91 as a second baseman. He had a career batting average of .212, with 6 home runs and 33 runs batted in.[9]

On December 14, 1923, Scheer was traded by the Athletics with another player and $40,000 in cash to the Milwaukee franchise in the American Association for Hall of Fame outfielder Al Simmons.[11][12] The next year, Simmons became a starter for the Athletics and went on to become one of the most feared hitters in baseball for the next 20 years. Scheer did not play another game in the major leagues.

Scheer split the 1924 season between Milwaukee and Shreveport in the Texas League.[13]

In December 1924, Scheer was sold by Milwaukee to the Reading Keystones of the International League.[14] In 1925, Scheer was teammates with Moe Berg in Reading. Berg played shortstop at the time, giving the Reading team an all Jewish double play combination with Berg at shortstop and Scheer at second base.[15][16] The pair set an International League record that year for double plays.[17] In 2003, one writer noted that Berg and Scheer "may be the only documented Jewish double play combination in the history of professional baseball."[18]

In the six years from 1924 to 1929, Scheer played for at least 10 minor league teams, including stints in Wilkes-Barre (1925), Reading (1925), Baltimore (1926), Terre Haute (1927), New Haven (1928), Hartford (1929),[19] Allentown (1929), and St. Thomas, Ontario (1929).[1]

Scheer retired from baseball after the 1929 season. He was married to Ada (Caldwell) Scheer, and they lived in New Haven, Connecticut. Over the years, Scheer had jobs as a haberdashery salesman and as a liquor salesman for wholesalers Eastern Liquor and Eder Brothers. He remained with Eder Brothers until his retirement at age 65.[20]

Scheer was one of the founders of New Haven Little League Baseball and served as the league's commissioner for a time.[20] He also served as an umpire for Ivy League baseball games.[21]

In March 1976, Scheer died of a heart attack at age 75 in New Haven.[20]

"Heinie" was a popular nickname for German baseball players in the early part of the 20th century. Scheer was one of 22 major league Heinies in the first half of the century. Others included: Heinie Beckendorf, 1909–10; Heinie Berger, 1907–10; Heinie Elder, 1913; Heinie Groh, 1912–27; Heinie Heitmuller, 1909–10; Heinie Heltzel, 1943–44; Heinie Jantzen, 1912; Heinie Kappel, 1887–89; Heinie Manush, 1923–39 – the only Hall of Fame "Heinie"; Heinie Meine, 1922–34; Heinie Mueller, 1920–35; Heinie Mueller, 1938–41; Heinie Odom, 1925; Heinie Peitz, 1892–1913; Heinie Reitz, 1893–99; Heinie Sand, 1923–28; Heinie Schuble, 1927–36; Heinie Smith, 1897–1903; Heinie Stafford, 1916; Heinie Wagner, 1902–18; and Heinie Zimmerman, 1907–19. There have been no players nicknamed Heinie in the major leagues since World War II.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Heinie Scheer Minor League Statistics". baseball-reference.com. 
  2. ^ "Heinie Scheer Makes Error in 23 Battles: Senators' Second Baseman Accepts 125 Chances Perfectly—Boot Yesterday First Since Opening Game of Season Here; SETS SEASON'S MARK FOR ERRORLESS GAMES". The Hartford Courant. May 31, 1921. 
  3. ^ "Heinie Scheer Sold To Phila Athletics: May Report to Connie Mack Next Week—Meteoric Baseball Rise". The Hartford Courant. December 13, 1921. 
  4. ^ "Mack Pays $5000 For Heinie Scheer". The Hartford Courant. December 13, 1921. 
  5. ^ ""HEINIE" SCHEER COMMANDS ATTENTION WITH MACKMEN: Former Hartford Infielder Shows Big League Fielding at Camp". The Hartford Courant. March 7, 1922. 
  6. ^ ""HEINIE" SCHEER MUST COME THROUGH WITH WILLOW TO EARN REGULAR BERTH: Mack Says He's a Wonder on Defensive But A's Need Strong offense—Fielding Dazzles Old-timers; MUST SHOW STRENGTH WITH BAT TO STAY". The Hartford Courant. March 24, 1922. 
  7. ^ "Heinie Scheer". baseball-reference.com. 
  8. ^ "1922 Philadelphia Athletics". baseball-reference.com. 
  9. ^ a b "Heinie Meine". baseball-reference.com. 
  10. ^ "Heinie Scheer, Mack Player, Improves". The Telegraph-Herald. June 25, 1923. 
  11. ^ ""HEINIE" SCHEER GOES TO MILWAUKEE IN EXCHANGE: Former Local Player Named By Mack in Deal for Simmons To Milwaukee". The Hartford Courant. December 16, 1923. 
  12. ^ "Borchert in East to Sign Heinie Scheer, New Second Sacker". The Milwaukee Journal. January 24, 1924. 
  13. ^ Sam Levy (April 9, 1924). "Heinie Scheer Injured". The Milwaukee Journal. 
  14. ^ "Manager Abbott Secures Four New Players for Keystones". Reading Eagle. December 2, 1924. 
  15. ^ The National Pastime, Volume 19. Society for American Baseball Research. 1999. p. 66. 
  16. ^ "Keystones Capture Opening Contest of Syracuse Series". Reading Eagle. June 19, 1925. 
  17. ^ Bill Reedy (July 7, 1932). "Sports of all Sorts". Reading Eagle. 
  18. ^ "M. Charles Bakst: On deck: Jewish baseball cards". Providence Journal. October 26, 2003. 
  19. ^ Albert W. Keane (November 29, 1928). "Hartford Senators Secure Joe Smith and "Heinie" Scheer in New Haven Trade". The Hartford Courant. 
  20. ^ a b c Peter S. Horvitz, Joachim Horvitz (2001). The Big Book of Jewish Baseball: An Illustrated Encyclopedia & Anecdotal History. SP Books. pp. 164–165. ISBN 1-56171-973-0. 
  21. ^ "Yale Subdues Springfield 98 With 3 Runs in Eleventh Inning". The New York Times. April 11, 1937. 

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