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November 10, 1920|
Dickinson, North Dakota
|Died: October 13, 2011
Charlotte, North Carolina
George Richard Scherger (November 10, 1920 – October 13, 2011), nicknamed "'Sugar Bear", was a retired coach in American Major League Baseball and a former longtime minor league infielder and manager. Scherger was an infielder from 1940 to 1956, but never made it higher than the low minor leagues with the Brooklyn Dodgers' Class C California League team in Santa Barbara from 1951 to 1953. Scherger also spent three years in the U.S. armed forces in World War II.
Scherger managed as a player/manager in the last nine years of his playing career, including his years with Santa Barbara, and managed and coached in the minors from 1961 to 1969. He joined the Cincinnati Reds organization in 1967.
When Sparky Anderson was named manager of the Reds for the 1970 season, Scherger—who had managed the young Sparky in the Brooklyn organization—was hired as first base coach. With the exception of third base coach Alex Grammas, who left the Reds in 1976 to manage the Milwaukee Brewers for two seasons, Anderson's coaching staff of Scherger, Grammas, Larry Shepard (pitching coach) and Ted Kluszewski (hitting coach) remained intact from Anderson's hiring to his dismissal after the 1978 season. During that time, Cincinnati won five NL West Division titles, four National League pennants and two World Series titles.
After Anderson's firing, Scherger was named manager of the Double-A Southern League's Nashville Sounds. In 1979, he managed the Sounds to win the SL championship. He also managed the team for part of 1988. In 1981, Scherger took over as skipper of the Triple-A American Association's Indianapolis Indians, before returning to the Reds as a coach from 1982 to 1986. He was described by Reds manager Pete Rose as the "smartest baseball mind in the world".
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)