now that his 2023 season is done, i figured it was time to officially welcome max scherzer to my hall of famer collection with this card as his entry:
as for scherzer, i was hoping to see him pitch this year as the mets were on the twins' schedule for a september visit. of course, before that happened, scherzer was dealt to the rangers. no worries - they were in town in august and i was able to make it to one of the games. unfortunately, scherzer didn't pitch in the game i attended - he took the mound a couple of nights later instead (when i was out of town, of course). he struck out 10 twins that night to add to his impressive career strikeout total that now stands at 3,367. that's good enough for 11th all-time, and he is just 4 k's behind greg maddux.
i am ok with having a card of scherzer as a national since that's the team he has spent the most time with. he won two of his cy youngs with them, and was a huge part of their 2019 world series win. i am a bit disappointed that he doesn't have more dodger cards to choose from, however. still, he's the only pitcher (so far) to reach the 3,000 strikeout plateau as a dodger, and for that i am grateful.
speaking of dodgers, when sandy koufax retired, he had the best k/9 ratio in history - striking out just under 9.3 batters per 9 innings pitched. the game has certainly changed since 1966, and even though strikeouts are up, scherzer's ratio of 10.69 k/9 is mind blowing. he's 4th all-time, but has maintained that ratio through 16 seasons. i think if i needed a strikeout and could pick any pitcher to get it for me, i would likely pick scherzer.
scherzer is signed through 2024, so it's a good bet that he will be back with the rangers and will pass maddux to get to the top 10 all-time in strikeouts. walter johnson (9th with 3,509 according to baseball reference) and gaylord perry (8th with 3,534) are within reasonable striking distance based on scherzer's last two seasons. don sutton is in 7th place with 3,574 strikeouts, so scherzer would need over 200 k's to catch him, and that's a feat he has not accomplished since 2021. whatever happens, i am hoping to be able to see him pitch before he's done.
as a reminder, you can see scherzer and the other members of my hall of famer collection here!