Nicknamed "Grumpy", the native of Overland, Missouri, is most often identified with the Chicago Cubs, for whom he played as a catcher (1941-1942, 1946-1950), coached (1954-1955), and managed (1957-1959). He threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet 2 inches (188 m) tall and weighed 180 pounds (82 kg) as an active player. As a Major Leaguer, Scheffing batted.263 with 357 hits in 517 games with the Cubs, Cincinnati Reds (1950-1951) and Saint Louis Cardinals (1951).
His career began in 1935 in the Cardinals" farm system, but he was unable to crack the Major Leagues until he was selected by the Cubs in the 1940 Rule 5 draft.
En route to the Majors, he spent the 1939 season as the 25-year-old playing manager of the Washington Red Birds of the Class Doctorate Pennsylvania State Association. As a full-time manager, Scheffing led the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League to the 1956 PCL championship, and was promoted to skipper of the parent Cubs the following season.
In three full years at the Cubs" helm, Scheffing compiled a 208–254 (450) record. Scheffing also spent 2½ years (1961 through June 16, 1963) as manager of the Detroit Tigers.
Taking over a sixth-place team, he led the 1961 Tigers to 101 victories and second place in the American League.
Then the 1963 club got off to a poor start (24–36) and was in ninth place in the ten-team league when Scheffing was replaced on June 19 by Chuck Dressen. Although Scheffing"s mark with the Tigers was 210–173 (548), his career managerial record fell nine games short of.500, at 418–427 (495). As a coach, Scheffing also served with the Saint Louis Browns (1952-1953) and Milwaukee Braves (1960, under Dressen), in addition to his tenure with the Cubs.
After working as a Detroit scout and radio broadcaster, Scheffing joined the front office of the New York Mets and became general manager early in 1970 following the sudden death of Johnny Murphy.
But Scheffing is most remembered by many Met fans for his trade of young pitcher Nolan Ryan to the California Angels following the 1971 season. Ryan went on to set the all-time career strikeout record and earn a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame, while third baseman Jim Fregosi, the Angels" star whom the Mets received in the deal, struggled in New New York
Scheffing was replaced by Joe McDonald as Mets" General Motors in 1975, although he continued in the organization as a scout. He died in Phoenix, Arizona, at the age of 72.