Max Scherzer told high school volunteers joining the monthly Action Team teleconference that his spirited play and dedication to the game are two traits he models after his former Detroit Tiger teammate, Torii Hunter. These same two traits can be found in Scherzer’s charitable work, too.
The 2013 Players Choice Award American League Outstanding Pitcher, who signed with the Washington Nationals this off-season following four seasons with the Tigers, is anxious to begin his first season with the defending NL East champions.
“I’m looking forward to getting to Washington. I’ve only been there one day for the signing,” said Scherzer, who is currently in Florida for Spring Training.
But the right-hander told the students that one of the lasting impressions he has from Detroit was that of Hunter, a five-time All-Star and winner of nine Gold Glove Awards.
“Torii Hunter really taught all of us that you can have as much fun as you want in this game as long as you play this game hard. That’s something that always stuck with me.”
Off the field, Scherzer and his wife continue to make a huge impact in the lives of those around them through Scherzer’s Superstars.
“Scherzer’s Superstars is a program where we were able to bring kids from all different backgrounds to the park, get them on the field for batting practice, get them tickets to the game, get some autographs from different players, and kind of give them the lowdown of what it’s like to be a big leaguer,” Scherzer said. “The kids who come just have the biggest smiles on their faces the whole day.
“I’ve been so blessed to be in this situation to be able to do exactly what I want to do for my dream job and if I can give back to the kids and help them out with baseball to achieve their dreams that puts a big smile on my face as well.”
In addition to Scherzer’s Superstars, he and his wife also partnered with Wildlife Services and Tigers for Tigers Coalition, to help with the conservation of tiger species across the world. “I got tiger in my blood no matter what,” Scherzer quipped.
Joining Scherzer were the Action Team Captains from Bishop Ireton High School from Virginia, who immediately impressed Scherzer with their community efforts.
“You hear all the programs that they are able to tackle at this young age it’s impressive what they are able to accomplish,” Scherzer said.
The Action Team Captains from Bishop Ireton have hosted clothing drives, food drives and food sorting to help the underserved in their community.
Scherzer likened efforts to contribute positively to the community to achievement in baseball.
“With baseball there is a lot of failure built within the game,” he said. “You have to be able to stand that, which happens in life as well. When you get out there you have to have the mindset that you can succeed, and you will.”
To hear the entire March Conference call featuring Max Scherzer click here.