This weekend, Delgado Baseball will host its annual “Rags” Scheuermann Memorial Tournament, featuring Pensacola State College, SUNY Adirondack (New York), and Delgado. The annual event marks the official start of Delgado Baseball’s home schedule at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium each season, while honoring the coach who started the first two-year collegiate athletic program in the state of Louisiana four decades ago…
A baseball coach for over forty years, “Rags” led youth teams for the New Orleans Recreation Department, as well as serving as Head Coach at Loyola University of New Orleans. When Loyola dropped athletics in the early 1970s, “Rags” crossed town to begin an Athletic Department at Delgado Community College.
“Rags” baseball career began as a child playing street ball. Shortly after high school, he had signed a professional contract with the Boston Red Sox in 1944, but was lost for a season after he suffered an arm injury during the first week of workouts. The following season, he signed with the Chicago Cubs organization. He was named the Appalachian League’s Outstanding Rookie and was selected as a member of the All Star team. His recurring arm injury forced him to retire shortly afterwards, and “Rags” entered coaching.
Following his successful stint at Loyola University, during which the Wolfpack amassed a 234-126 record, Scheuermann was named the Dolphins’ founding Head Baseball Coach/Athletic Director. He quickly got to work in building a strong athletic program. Through the years, Scheuermann’s Delgado teams would go onto to receive eight district championships, as well as a trip to the 1985 Junior College World Series, all while compiling an impressive record of 527-199.
The Delgado Community College Baseball program gave hundreds of area athletes the chance to compete at the next level both academically and athletically. Many of “Rags”’ players went onto NCAA Division I programs and some to Major League Baseball. As a man who received only a basic education, “Rags” preached the importance of academics, along with the concept of “student-athlete” in which academics always come first. Many of Rags’ benchmarks continue to guide the Delgado Athletic Department today.
For forty five years, “Rags” also served as Director of the N.O.R.D. All-American League, which is held each summer at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium prior to the team participating in the All- American Amateur Baseball Association’s National Tournament in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Scheuermann served as Manager of the New Orleans franchise at the annual AAABA Tournament in Johnstown, Pennsylvania for 40 years (1951-1991). His New Orleans squads reached the National Championship game 15 times, while compiling a 149-72 record. Scheuermann still holds the record for the longest tenured Manager in AAABA Tournament history.
After retiring as Delgado’s Head Coach in 1990, Scheuermann served as the Director of Intramural Sports at the College until his death on April 7, 1997. Scheuermann is a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, New Orleans Diamond Club Hall of Fame, and was a member of the Inaugural Class of the All-American Amateur Baseball Association Hall of Fame. “Rags” was often called the “Dean of New Orleans Baseball”. Perhaps Rags’ greatest legacy is the amount of former players who are now coaches and community leaders throughout the area.
New Orleans television legend Phil Johnson summed up Rags’ life in a WWL-TV editorial shortly after his passing: “Rags was an uncommon man, a wise man, and, at his most basic, a kind, decent, and honest man who lived his life for his wife, his family, and for kids…his kids and anybody else’s kids who wanted to play the game. He taught them how. It was his gift. It was his life.”
In 2003, Delgado Community College honored Scheuermann’s years of dedication to Delgado Athletics and baseball in New Orleans by dedicating Kirsch-Rooney Stadium’s diamond to his memory, re-naming the park “Rags” Scheuermann Field at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium. Today, his portrait hangs in the stadium’s press box, overlooking the Field that bears his name.
Appropriately, the annual “Rags” Scheuermann Memorial Tournament opens the Dolphins’ season each February.
The Scheuermann Family continues to be fixtures at “Rags” Scheuermann Field at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium and many Delgado Athletic events.
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