Kannapolis legend Scercy dies
By Mike London
Salisbury resident Leroy Scercy, one of the great athletic legends in Kannapolis history passed away at 74 on Tuesday at Forsyth Medical Center. (See Obituary on Page 4A.)
Playing for the A.L. Brown Wonders, Scercy made All-State teams in football, basketball and baseball during the 1955-56 school year, and he also could score points in a track meet in anything from the 100 to the shot put.
Basketball is what he loved most.
Baseball is the sport where he earned pro paychecks.
The people who chased him to the end zone or tried to tackle him say he was best of all in football, a devastating 200-pound fullback and safety with sprinter’s speed. He suited up for North Carolina in the 1955 Shrine Bowl, and Brown was 23-5 during his time in green.
Most of those five losses were to tremendous Albemarle teams. His senior year, Scercy scored four touchdowns in a 25-24 loss to coach Toby Webb’s Bulldogs.
Maybe the best testament to Scercy’s athletic ability is that he was a starting outfielder on Kannapolis’ 1952 state-championship American Legion baseball team when he was still 15 years old. He tried out for that team barefooted. His sister bought him proper baseball footwear after he made the team.
Offers to play college football were numerous, but Scercy had no love for schoolwork.
When the Kansas City Athletics offered the lefty swinger a contract to play pro baseball, he signed it. At age 19 in Class D ball in faraway Nebraska, he batted .351 with power.
His last hurrah came with the Salisbury Braves at Newman Park in 1960, and he steered the local team on a pennant drive by launching 16 homers in just 66 games.
Scercy gave himself a four-year deadline to make the major leagues, and he fell short of that goal. At age 24, he hung up his spikes and went to work at Cannon Mills.
Even in the 1970s, his glory days long past, he’d occasionally be challenged to a footrace by one of the local teenagers who had heard stories of how fast the “old guy” used to be.
Wearing overalls and workboots, Scercy always left the youngsters in the dust.
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