Thursday May 13th, 2021

There Will Never be Another Like the Crusher

There Will Never be Another Like the Crusher

Rick Scherr

Babe Ruth of Slow Pitch

There is grainy footage circulating the internet of a hulking, bearded man who smashes a softball like an elephant stepping on a watermelon – they both go splat. His name is Rick Scherr, also known as The Crusher, and at 6’5” and 275 pounds in his heyday, he was as alarmingly fleet-footed in the field as he was devastatingly powerful at-bat. He also has a celebrity son, in some worlds at least, but we will get to that a bit later.

Scherr began playing softball in the late ’60s and it wasn’t long before he started building a fierce reputation at the plate. His exact career numbers are sketchy but it is estimated he hit over 1800 home runs and in 1986 he hit 451 dingers in 191 games. No, that’s not a typo and those numbers are not inadvertently reversed.

Scherr played on one team named Howard's Western Steer, and he talks about winning games with eye-popping scores like 60-5 and claims six World Softball Championships to his name. In 1982, he slammed a dozen home runs in five games and was named the MVP of the Conway Twitty Classic. Speaking of tournaments, if you’ve got one in your sights this upcoming year and want to put your money where your mouth is, SBR will give you the odds for the event.

And it wasn’t merely the frequency of his home runs but the prodigious length of them. Scherr did the unthinkable and hit slow-pitch softballs out of Major League Stadiums on numerous occasions and even chatted with the Hit King himself, Pete Rose.

"K.C. a couple of times," he says. "Shea Stadium, Atlanta, San Diego, Oakland, Anaheim.

"The time I did it in Wrigley Field, Chicago, was pretty good. It was between games of a doubleheader with the Phillies. Pete Rose was there. I've met Pete a couple of times. I think he's a real nice man. He'd even stand out there and watch and stuff. Some baseball players were a little snobby. They'd say, 'This guy's not going to hit no softball out of here.'

"They had 35,000 people there, and I just caught a good day, with the wind blowing out. I guess I hit six into the bleachers. The guy pitching finally threw me a real nice pitch, and I hit it onto that Waverly Avenue, or whatever."

Chicago natives know it is as Waveland Avenue but it’s a monster shot either way and one that would not be forgotten by those in attendance.

Below is a bit more about Rick "The Crusher'' Scherr according to the USSSA Hall of Fame, of which Scherr has been enshrined, “A Wisconsin native, Scherr is the USSSA All-Time World Series leader in home runs (101), hits (166), and RBIs (202). He has played in the World Series a record of 14 times…with a .685 career batting average and over 1,800 home runs in USSSA Tournament play, Scherr was a tough competitor whether playing first base, third base, the outfield, or catcher. Scherr was named the USSSA All-World Team six times; he led three teams to World Championships; and in a recent poll of major managers and sponsors, Rick Scherr was voted the Top Player of the Decade (80's) by his peers.”

Oh, and getting back to his famous progeny, if you are a wrestling fan you would know his son Adam by the name of Braun Strowman, the 6’8” 380-pound tower of power who wreaks havoc and mayhem on a regular basis in the WWE. His dad hit softballs, and now his son, Adam, hits people. It’s a family tradition if you will.

In a 1989 interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Rick Scherr cheekily explained his penchant for bashing softballs into tomorrow when he said, “I must have hit 4,000 homers in those 20 years. I'd rather hit it over the fence because it's less running.''

Scherr is a living legend and one to whom his son has given credit for his own success. As he wrote recently on Instagram with a picture of his father rounding first base after what we can only assume was another herculean smash, @adamscherr99 “When I grow up I wanna be like him!!!!! #TheBestToEverDoIt #IllAlwaysBeYourLittleBoy



One response to “There Will Never be Another Like the Crusher”

  1. David Bremer says:

    I first saw Rick Scheer playing in a local tournament in Crystal, Minnesota and he was with a team from Wisconsin called Copperhearth. This was around the early 70’s and what I remember hearing was that Rick was 18 years old. He was big but a lot skinnier back then…haha..but then again, who wasn’t:). He was playing 3rd base and just smashing the ball. Copperhearth continued to come to that tournament for several more years and then Rick eventually went to Howards and we were fortunate enough to watch him and some of the other elite players of that time playing in the Dudley Classic, which during those years and many to come was the biggest tournament of the summer and garnered crowds that would rival the Smokey Mountain Classic. I can only imagine what Rick’s stats might look like if he was swinging some of the equipment available to today’s players. Those were the days.

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