Major League Baseball Pitcher & Scout
For many major-league baseball players, the bright lights and glamour of “The Show” are preceded by years of trial and perseverance in the minors. For Cardinal O’Hara alum Bill Scherrer, the long and winding road to the majors featured stops in Tampa, Wichita, Eugene, Indianapolis, Johnstown, Shelby, and Waterbury (among other resort destinations) before the promotion that finally rewarded the promise he displayed on the diamonds of Tonawanda and Buffalo.
Scherrer’s high school exploits were the stuff of legend: he allowed only a single earned run in his senior year, which featured a Manhattan Cup title and All-Catholic, All-Western New York and Parade Magazine All-American selections. Bill was drafted in the sixth round (134th overall) in 1976 by the Cleveland Indians, and eventually signed with the Cincinnati Reds a year later. A trying ordeal of bus rides through all levels of the minor leagues followed, but after a five-year odyssey, a determined Scherrer made the big club in 1982.
In 1983, Scherrer was the Reds’ top relief pitcher. The lanky lefty appeared in 73 games, finished 32, had 10 saves and 57 strikeouts in 92 innings. In an amazing instance of fortuitous timing, Bill was traded to the Detroit Tigers in August 1984, and was a key contributor in the run to a World Series Championship. Scherrer appeared in 18 games down the stretch for the Tigers, and made three appearances in the team’s five-game World Series triumph over the San Diego Padres. Bill spent parts of seven seasons in the majors, including stops in Baltimore and Philadelphia. His career highlights include 228 relief appearances, 311 innings, 207 strikeouts, 11 saves, and was the last pitcher that Johnny Bench caught in his last game as a catcher, striking out all three batters faced.
Upon retirement, Bill joined the ranks of notable major-league scouts from Western New York. He joined the Florida Marlins in 1992, and earned a second World Series ring as a member of that team’s scouting staff in 1997. Scherrer’s efforts for the Marlins were recognized with the first annual Scout of the Year Award by the Toronto Sun in 1994. Bill returned to Cincinnati as a national scout from 1998 to 2002. He moved on to the Chicago White Sox in 2002, and as Assistant to the General Manager, earned his third ring in 2005.
Bill maintains local ties not only by his residence, but as an instructor at the Rick Lancelloti Buffalo School of Baseball. A proud Buffalonian, Scherrer tonight becomes another thread in the rich fabric of Buffalo baseball with induction to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.