sunny.png
Thursday October 22nd, 2020 4:21PM

Scheuer, Philly sports media denizen for decades, dies at 88

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jack Scheuer, the go-to guy at courtside, on the field and in the press box, who covered Philadelphia sports from the days of Wilt Chamberlain to Bryce Harper for The Associated Press and other outlets, died Friday. He was 88.

Son Bob said his father died in hospice care from kidney and cancer complications.

“A Philly legend,” two-time champion Villanova basketball coach Jay Wright tweeted this week.

“Philly’s finest! A true gentleman,” former Saint Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli posted.

Scheuer worked as a freelance sports stringer for the AP for 46 years after starting out with the Philadelphia Bulletin newspaper. During a retirement tribute at Citizens Bank Park on the final day of the 2019 season, it was estimated he had covered 3,500 Phillies games and 3,600 basketball games.

While Scheuer worked at Connie Mack Stadium, the Spectrum, Veterans Stadium and more — greeting everyone with a smile, a tip and a trivia question — his second home for decades seemed to be the Palestra.

The jewel of a basketball arena opened in 1927 on Penn's campus, and he played for his high school team in a city championship game on that court in 1949. Scheuer was later elected to the Big 5 Hall of Fame, following Penn, Temple, Villanova, La Salle and Saint Joseph’s while always in search of “good hoops,” as he liked to say.

“Jack Scheuer — Palestra — Saturday — soft pretzel — another game tonight — The perfect day,” Martelli tweeted in January.

But Scheuer did more than record the baskets. He shot them, too.

For nearly 40 years, Scheuer ran a weekly media game on the Palestra court, with the likes of NBA star and coach Doug Collins, then-Phillies manager Terry Francona and former Sixers general manager John Nash sometimes taking part.

Known for a spot-on, two-handed set shot, Scheuer more than held his own playing pickup ball until he was 85. After all those years of four-on-four, half-court games up to seven or nine, he jokingly referred to himself as “the all-time leading scorer in Palestra history.”

“He was just ageless,” decorated Philadelphia sports writer and broadcaster Ray Didinger said Friday. “Looking at him, it was hard to place how old he was. He was eternal."

The 5-foot-8 Scheuer, a former Drexel assistant and high school coach, had his own key to the Palestra and commanded the court on Wednesday afternoons from October to April. While coaching at Penn, Fran Dunphy gladly delayed Quakers practices there until his pal’s games were finished.

Scheuer often said his favorite college hoops player was 1950s Temple guard Guy Rodgers, a four-time NBA All-Star. Scheuer once started in the backcourt with Rodgers in a summer league game and liked to tell how they combined for 54 points.

“I got four,” Scheuer would say, a familiar twinkle in his eye, “he got the rest.”

In the mid-1970s, Scheuer was the marketing director for the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League. It was a family affair of sorts — sons Bob and Ken tended the hot dogs in the press box and daughter Gail was a cheerleader.

As a teen, Scheuer got a walk-on tryout with the Phillies as an infielder. He recalled standing at shortstop as Philadelphia regulars socked line drives all around him.

“One of the pitchers, Ken Heintzelman, kind of took me to the outfield, said it was too dangerous standing in there,” Scheuer remembered.

Scheuer played shortstop for years — with Didinger at third base — for the Bulletin softball team.

“He was a really, really good player, and really smart,” Didinger said. “It showed when he would do postgame interviews on the job. Managers and coaches could tell he knew what he was talking about. He had their utmost respect.

“People would go to him,” he said. “He always came across as someone who had no agenda.”

Scheuer served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He returned to Philadelphia and was a salesman and a company rep for several firms before picking up more and more jobs in sports, becoming one of the most beloved media members in town.

For years, his phone's answering machine featured the voice of celebrated Phillies announcer Harry Kalas doing his home run call, saying Jack Scheuer "is outta here!”

“In my 21 years as a sports writer for the AP, I’ve never met anyone else who no one had a bad thing to say about. It’s tough in this industry, in this city. And he was universally loved,” said AP sports writer Rob Maaddi, who covered nearly 1,000 games with Scheuer.

Scheuer is survived by his wife of 64 years, Jean; sons Bob and Ken; daughters Gail and Nancy; and eight grandchildren.

A funeral was scheduled for Nov. 5.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Scheuer, Philly sports media denizen for decades, dies at 88
The go-to guy at courtside, on the field and in the press box who covered Philadelphia sports from the days of Wilt Chamberlain to Bryce Harper for The Associated Press and other outlets has died
4:08PM ( 8 minutes ago )
The Latest: US report shows patterns of virus deaths shifted
A new U.S. government report shows that patterns of coronavirus deaths shifted over the summer, with rising percentages of the deaths in Hispanic people, and those living in the South and West
3:50PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Reports: Turkey tests Russian-made S-400 defense system
Turkish media reports say NATO-member Turkey has tested its Russian-made advanced air defense missile system, raising the specter of a new standoff with the United States
3:46PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
On Football: Flames under coaching hot seats intensify
Bill O’Brien went first
3:03PM ( 1 hour ago )
Panthers place lineman Larsen on reserve/COVID-19 list
The Carolina Panthers have placed guard/center Tyler Larsen on the reserve/COVID-19 list, five days after he played against the Atlanta Falcons
2:51PM ( 1 hour ago )
Chiefs' locker room mum on Bell's arrival - well, almost
The only member of the Kansas City Chiefs that was available and willing to discuss LeVeon Bell happened to be defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who won’t have much of anything to do with him
2:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
General manager Daryl Morey leaving Rockets on Nov. 1
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is stepping down on his own accord
9:29PM ( 18 hours ago )
AP source: General manager Daryl Morey leaving Rockets
A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is stepping down on his own accord
5:39PM ( 22 hours ago )
The Latest: Men's hoops back on the court at Purdue
The Purdue men’s basketball team is back on the court after workouts were paused briefly this week following two questionable COVID-19 tests
4:09PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Basketball
76 arrests as fans, some rowdy, cheer Lakers win in LA
Police say 76 people have been arrested during a downtown celebration after the Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th National Basketball Association championship
2:19PM ( 4 days ago )
67 arrests as fans, some rowdy, cheer Lakers win in LA
Police say 67 people have been arrested during a downtown celebration after the Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th National Basketball Association championship
10:34AM ( 4 days ago )
Bubble Kings: Lakers run past Heat for 17th NBA championship
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are back atop the NBA world
12:51AM ( 4 days ago )
AP Sports - NBA
The Latest: US report shows patterns of virus deaths shifted
A new U.S. government report shows that patterns of coronavirus deaths shifted over the summer, with rising percentages of the deaths in Hispanic people, and those living in the South and West
3:50PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Reports: Turkey tests Russian-made S-400 defense system
Turkish media reports say NATO-member Turkey has tested its Russian-made advanced air defense missile system, raising the specter of a new standoff with the United States
3:46PM ( 30 minutes ago )
7 Chicago cops suspended for roles in chief's traffic stop
Seven Chicago police officers have been suspended for their roles in an incident in which then-Superintendent Eddie Johnson was found asleep behind the wheel of his SUV following a night of drinking
3:46PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Authorities: Top Mexico official helped smuggle drugs to US
U.S. authorities allege that Mexico’s former defense secretary helped smuggle thousands of kilograms of cocaine, heroin and other drugs into the United States in exchange for bribes
3:29PM ( 47 minutes ago )
White House rejects Putin response to US arms control offer
The White House and the Kremlin are rejecting each other's ideas on extending the last major treaty governing their nuclear arsenals
3:28PM ( 48 minutes ago )