EUREKA, Mo. – He is regarded as one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. Max Scherzer has accomplished more in Major League Baseball than many players even dream about.
Watching his World Series performance hundreds of miles away from Houston were two of his biggest fans.
Rick Kirby coached Scherzer at Parkway Central High School. Kirby’s son, Austin, was one of Scherzer’s high school teammates and remains a friend. The father-son duo watched the game on television from Austin’s living room in Eureka.
“He’s as humble and great a kid as he is a great pitcher,” Rick said.
The stress on their faces was the type of stress you would expect to see from fans at the game.
Austin said Scherzer has worked hard to achieve success and is a deep thinker when it comes to his pitching. He recalls playing in a high school tournament where Major League scouts were interested in a player on the other team. Their interest shifted once they saw Max pitch.
“When he started throwing 89, 90 (mph) as a sophomore, all those scouts went sprinting to their cars to get their radar guns and I don’t know if that’s what put Max on the map but it definitely helped,” Austin said.
Since then, the Kirbys have witnessed Scherzer’s generosity with various charities and despite being in great demand, they say Scherzer has never forgotten where he came from. He even invited his former high school coach into the dugout before a recent game against the Cardinals in St. Louis.