University of Missouri

Missouri to retire Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer’s number on Jan. 18

Missouri’s Max Scherzer
Missouri’s Max Scherzer The Associated Press

Max Scherzer is already one of Missouri’s most famous baseball alumni, as the Washington Nationals pitcher is considered one of the best in the major leagues.

Now his number will never be worn by another Tigers player again.

Missouri announced on Tuesday that it would retire Scherzer’s No. 31 jersey at its First Pitch Dinner on Jan. 18. It will be the fourth number the program has retired, along with No. 34 John ‘Hi’ Simmons, No. 33 Gene McArtor and No. 15 Phil Bradley.

After passing up the majors out of high school, Scherzer became one of the nation’s most dominant college pitchers while in Columbia. As a sophomore in 2005, he led the Big 12 in earned-run average (1.86) and strikeouts (161). He was chosen conference pitcher of the year and second-team All-America.

Scherzer was chosen No. 11 overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2006 MLB Draft and won the first of three Cy Young awards while with the Detroit Tigers in 2013.

Aside from being a five-time All Star, the St. Louis native eclipsed the 300-strikeout mark in the 2018 season, which made him one of only 17 pitchers in the last 118 years to do so.

Missouri baseball opens its season on Friday, Feb. 15 at North Florida. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m.

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Alex Schiffer has been covering the Missouri Tigers for The Star since October 2017. He came in second place for magazine-length feature writing by the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association in 2018 and graduated from Mizzou in 2017.