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George Richard Scherger (November 10, 1920 – October 13, 2011), nicknamed "'Sugar Bear", was an American professional baseball coach, player and manager. He was a coach in Major League Baseball for 13 years, all with the Cincinnati Reds, and a longtime minor league infielder and manager. Scherger played as 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 with the Nashville Sounds in 1979
|Born: November 10, 1920|
Dickinson, North Dakota
|Died: October 13, 2011 (aged 90)|
Charlotte, North Carolina
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 the SL championship. He also managed the team for part of 1988. In 1982, Scherger took over as skipper of the Triple-A American Association's Indianapolis Indians and won the league playoff title. He then returned to the Reds as a coach from 1983 to 1986. He was described by Reds manager Pete Rose as the "smartest baseball mind in the world".