While his parents worked, Krause's love for sports bloomed. He'd play H-O-R-S-E and one-on-one late into the night at Edison Park, and he broke a bone playing catcher in pickup baseball games at Olympia Park. Even then, Krause would get teased about his lack of height and Jewish heritage.
After sports, Krause would stop by his parents' shoe store, take out some garbage, maybe help with inventory.
"But when I came to the age where I could learn something about the shoes, I didn't want to," Krause said. "I really wanted to do my own thing. And my dad let me. He was fine with it.
"I didn't really like the store because I saw they never took a vacation. They were slaves to that store. I said to myself, 'I'm never going to be this way.' But guess what? I ended up a slave to these two games."
'A solitary life'
Jerry Krause is getting agitated.
A woman has settled into the aisle seat in Row 2 behind home plate at Frawley Stadium, blocking Krause's view.
"I gotta see the plate," he says.
So the man who begrudgingly admits to having switched name tags on seating assignments to get a better view at long-ago basketball games moves to Row 3. He later asks a pitcher who is charting pitches for his home-field Wilmington Blue Rocks to move.
Now Krause is in his element. He has written the lineups into his dingy yellow spiral notebook and surveyed the park. Even advertising signage on the outfield wall is noted. "What a great name for a mattress company, Sleepy's," he says.
Krause is keeping score and scribbling notes. "Slow swing." "Four-seamer with very little life." Other than to exchange hellos with scouts from other teams, he talks little. And when he does, it's to no one in particular.
"Oh, I know this guy," he says. "I saw him at college in Arkansas." Another time, he offers that he would try to convert the light-hitting catcher with the rocket arm into a pitcher.
He uses a stopwatch to time hitters running from home plate to first base. But he doesn't break out his radar gun until the second or third inning. "I would rather watch a guy pitch first," he says. "Plus, I want to see how fast he's throwing when he's loose and then, later, tired."
Contrary to his dour reputation, Krause likes to sprinkle humor in the reports he writes on each player back in his hotel room. He once summed up a nonprospect by writing, "He reminds me of me: Can't hit. Can't run. Can't throw."
Another of his reports from the 1970s drew an unexpected overnight call from colorful Oakland Athletics owner Charles Finley when Krause worked for that club. "I wrote, 'Fat, friendly Irishman who I'd like to have as a neighbor but not as a catcher,' " Krause says. "He called to say he liked that."
But it's true Krause doesn't reveal much to those he doesn't work for. Though he says he disliked the "Sleuth" moniker former Bulls and current Magic executive Pat Williams hung on him, he admits "it probably fits, especially when I was younger. I was digging like holy hell then."
Later, over dinner, Krause becomes reflective on the subject.
"Scouting is a solitary life," he says. "And I'm stubborn; I didn't talk to other guys. But, hell, when I was young, older scouts never said hello to younger scouts. You had to prove who you were. Then maybe they'd talk to you.