A St. Louis-born Missouri Tiger, righty Max Scherzer was drafted by the Diamondbacks with the 11th pick in 2006, making him Mizzou's first first-round pick. Scherzer debuted with Arizona but was traded to Detroit in December 2009. Last season, the 28-year-old logged career highs in wins (16) and strikeouts (231), behind only teammate Justin Verlander in the American League, and his 11.1 K/9 innings mark led the AL. Scherzer is off to another solid start this year, with a 5-0 record and 0.99 WHIP through May 20.
What is the most unusual item in your locker?
An 18-inch ruler. The reason is, I run the clubhouse [betting] pools, and I always use the back of a lineup card to make all the pools. And you have to have a ruler to draw all the lines.
What question are you asked most?
The most non-baseball thing I get asked is about my eyes. One is brown and one is blue. Everybody is fascinated by them. Even Prince [Fielder]. When he came into the locker room, he was sitting there, staring at my eyes with this dumbfounded look on his face.
Which pro athlete would you never want to change places with?
Being a running back in the NFL does not sound like my cup of tea. I think I’ll stay on the mound and pitch every five days.
Who is one person you’ve met but wish you had more time talk to?
Shooter McGavin [Christopher McDonald]. I think he’s the best sports movie character. I saw him at an airport once when I was in college, but actually sitting down and having a conversation with him would be hilarious.
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would it be?
I grew up in St. Louis, and if you grow up in St. Louis, you instantly become a baseball fan and a Cardinals fan. My baseball idol growing up was Ozzie Smith. So he’s the guy I’d love to meet.
What is your must-have item on road trips?
My iPad. I’ve grown addicted to it. Every time I go on a road trip, I have to have it. Just surfing the Internet or playing games on there seems to pass my time pretty well.
What is next on your vacation wish list?
I got to go to the Grand Canyon for the first time recently, and I wanted to do a float trip down the Colorado River but didn’t have time. So that’s one of my next things to do.
Who would you want to play you in your biopic?
I don’t know how he’d do it, I don’t know if he’d look like me, but my favorite actor is Edward Norton.
What is the most embarrassing music you have to admit to listening to?
Taylor Swift. I don’t know why, but when she’s on the radio, I keep it on. I don’t know why, but I keep finding myself listening to Taylor Swift.
What is most your irrational fear?
Snakes, though that is rational, right?
What’s the worst purchase you ever made?
My 5-wood. I tested it out, bought it, went to the [driving] range, and I couldn’t even hit it, so I threw it away. There went 250 bucks.
What do you like best about your job?
This is a dream job. This is what I wanted to do ever since I was a little kid. Plus, for the 130 games a year that I don’t pitch, I get to sit in a front-row seat and watch Major League baseball. Being able to watch it and play it every single day? That’s the thing.