Of all those who have ever thrown a baseball, be it in the front yard with their fathers or on the grandest of stages, only one has thrown a pair of Major League no-hitters and struck out 20 batters in one game: Max Scherzer, the 32-year-old Washington Nationals pitcher.
Pitching is by no means his lone passion. Along with his wife, Erica, Scherzer is involved in numerous charities.
“My wife is really gung-ho about trying to help everyone we can,” Scherzer says. “I have a special place in my heart for kids and trying to do what I can to make sure every kid has the opportunity to play what I think is the best game anyone can play. Charitable work is definitely a passion for us, and we try and pick the best charities we can and make a difference.”
The Scherzers launched Baseball Cards for a Cause in 2015. The fundraising effort allows fans to purchase an authenticated baseball card autographed by Scherzer via the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation for $40. He’ll even personalize the card if requested. At the end of the baseball season, Scherzer and a few of his teammates who have joined the program match the money raised by their respective autographs. The proceeds are given to the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, which serves to develop local at-risk kids with a passion for baseball. The project raised $33,000 (including the gift matching) in its first year.
In January 2015, “Mad Max” inked a seven-year, $210 million deal with the Washington Nationals. That season he became the fifth pitcher in Major League Baseball history to throw two no-hitters in the same regular season. On May 11 of this year, he became the fourth pitcher with 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game.
As for what comes after baseball, Scherzer says, “It’s so difficult to say right now. I definitely know there’s an expiration date on my arm.”
This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.