Max Scherzer finished second in the NL Cy Young voting last season, and for good reason: he went 18-7 with a 2.53 ERA and 300 strikeouts. Scherzer’s dominance didn’t start last year, however. He’s had a decorated MLB career and before that, a solid college baseball career. Where did Max Scherzer go to college? Let’s take a look back at his career prior to pitching in the major leagues.
Where did Max Scherzer go to college?
Scherzer was born in Chesterfield, Missouri. That’s where he played Little League and high school baseball before heading off to play college baseball.
According to Scherzer, from the age of 8, it was his dream to play college baseball at the University of Missouri. That’s exactly what Scherzer did, pitching three years in his home state’s school. Scherzer explained his decision to attend college and play at Mizzou in an interview with MLB.com.
“That’s why you went to school, because you realize that, being a professional athlete, there’s a good chance you’re not going to make it. You need an education. That’s why for me, it was such an important decision to go to college and further my education to provide me a safety net in case this didn’t work out.”
Scherzer obviously had nothing to worry about with regards to not making it to the big leagues — he’s currently one of the top pitchers in baseball — but his approach showed that playing college baseball wasn’t only due to his aspirations to play in the majors. He also had a pure love for the game and a desire to get an education.
How Scherzer performed in college
Scherzer dominated at the college level. His performance was so excellent that he entered the school’s Hall of Fame in 2011. Check out some of Scherzer’s major accomplishments from his time as a Tiger:
- Led the Big XII in ERA (1.86) and strikeouts (131) in 2005, his sophomore season
- His 131 strikeouts in 2005 broke a 14-year school record
- 2005 Big XII Pitcher of the Year
- 2005 semifinalist for the Clemens Award, given to the top college pitcher in the nation
- Selected as a member of the USA Baseball national team in 2005
- Defeated the No. 1 ranked Florida Gators in 2006
- Went 7-2 with a conference-leading 1.95 ERA despite suffering injuries in 2006
- Closed out his career as the 11th overall selection in the 2006 MLB draft, picked by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was the highest selected player from Missouri at the time as well as the first Tiger to ever go in the first round.
Scherzer also had his number retired by the school.
Other notable pros from Missouri
Max Scherzer isn’t the only MLB veteran to play at Missouri. Check out these other notable MLB players who played for the Tigers:
- Ian Kinsler
- Dave Silvestri
- Phil Bradley
- Aaron Crow
- Shawn Marcum
- Kyle Gibson
Scherzer’s MLB accomplishments
- Led the league in wins four times
- Three Cy Young Awards (two NL, one AL)
- Won 20 games twice
- Led the league in strikeouts three times
- 2,484 career strikeouts
- 3.73 career postseason ERA
- Three All-Star game selections
- Three times appearing in the top 10 vote getters for MVP
- 55.5 career wins above replacement (WAR)
This season, Scherzer is part of a strong Washington Nationals’ rotation that includes Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin. With 12 years under his belt and no signs of slowing down, expect plenty more seasons of greatness from Scherzer before his career ends.