Bob Scherbarth was born on January 18, 1926 in Milwaukee. He was a catcher for the Red Sox and played in just one major-league game, never getting the opportunity to officially bat.
His “cup of coffee” came on April 23, 1950, in the first game of a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Athletics. Birdie Tebbetts, despite his healing finger, started the game behind the plate, but after he fouled out to first base in the top of the sixth inning, manager Joe McCarthy pulled him and inserted Bob as the catcher. The rookie played ever so briefly, catching Joe Dobson in the sixth inning. One week later, he was sent back to Louisville, the same day that Walt Dropo was called up to fill the void at first base
Bob went to the Walnut and Brown Street school, and graduated from Milwaukee’s West Division High School where he was on the gym team, earned letters in a couple of sports, and served on the “Sport Senate.” He played amateur and American Legion ball as a boy. Had he not played baseball, he had expected to go into physical education.
He served in the United States Navy during World War II, from February 8, 1944, to June 4, 1946. He’d been a pitcher on his high school team, but upon joining the Navy, he found “here seemed to be more pitchers than chief petty officers, so he became a catcher. He played on the Norfolk Naval Air Station team both as a pitcher and a catcher.
He signed a contract right after he received his honorable discharge from the Navy, with a Red Sox scout waiting for him at the Navy Yard gate in Norfolk, Va.
After signing with the Red Sox, he was assigned to Roanoke and appeared in 68 games for the Roanoke Red Sox in the Class-B Piedmont League. He hit .225 with four home runs. In 1947, his first full season, he played for Roanoke again, and improved to .265 with 15 homers. He played for two teams in 1948, both in Class-C ball, 89 games for the El Paso Texans, and 28 games for the California League’s San Jose Red Sox.
In 1949 he started the season in Scranton for maybe eight to ten games and was sent me to Louisville. He stayed at Louisville for two years. In 1949 he was with the Colonels, played in 83 games and hit .289 at the Triple-A level. That earned him an invitation to spring training with the big-league club in 1950.
In 1951 he had to contend with an array of others all vying to become the catcher for the Red Sox. He soldiered on for a third year in Louisville in 1951, but saw his batting average dip again, to .231. In 1952 he was effectively demoted, being placed with Albany (Class-A Eastern League) where he played in 75 games, hitting .269. He also played five games with Double-A Birmingham and then retired.
In his career after baseball, he was busy as an artist in lithography and was doing regional scouting. He worked for Krueger Lithography in Milwaukee and was active as a member of the Kilburn Masonic Lodge. In the late 1980s, he moved to Presque Isle, Wisconsin.
Bob Scherbarth died on January 31, 2009, at age 83, at his home from complications of diabetes in Presque Isle, Wisconsin.