Happy Birthday Steve Avery!!!

Happy Birthday Steve Avery!!!

Steve Avery turns 44 years old today.

Steve Avery may have been thrown into the fire a little too early, but his talent level even at a young age had expectations high as he joined the Atlanta Braves’ talented starting pitching core nicknamed – ‘The Young Guns’.  To be considered on par with Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and Tom Glavine must have been wonderful, and yet stressful, for Avery.

Avery made his debut with the Braves in 1990 and didn’t fare well as he finished the season with a 3-11 record alongside his 4.02 ERA.  But as the youngest player in the game in 1990, Avery managed to impress the Braves’ management enough to remain in the pitching rotation and his hard work began to pay off.  In 1991, Avery went 18-8  while finishing in 6th place for the Cy Young Award.  The next year he declined a bit as he went 11-11 but then thrived in 1993 by going 18-6 and earning his lone trip to the All-star game.

Unfortunately Avery suffered an injury to his pitching arm in late 1993 and he would never be able to recover the success he had for the Braves.  Prior to the injury Avery had a regular season record of 48-36, but after coming back from his injury he managed to go just 44-50.  Many blame the heavy workload and pressure to perform as the Braves’ 4th starter for his breakdown.  While the Braves’ were winning division titles one after  the other, the accolades went to their talented trio of pitchers and Avery became lost in the shuffle.

In 1997 Steve Avery joined the Boston Red Sox and pitched well for them for 2 seasons.  He was no longer the dominant guy that he was in the early 90′s but he performed well as their #2 starter.  The Red Sox kept his innings down and he managed to go 16-14 for them.  In 1999 he joined the Cincinnati Reds and posted a losing record of 6-7 with an enormous ERA of  5.16.  Steve Avery left the game after the 1999 season.

Avery attempted a comeback in 2003 as he wanted to give professional baseball one more attempt.  4 years after leaving the game, Avery joined his hometown team, the Detroit Tigers, as a relief pitcher.  He went 2-0 and played in 19 contests for the Tigers before finally hanging up his cleats for good.

Happy Birthday Mr. Avery!!!

Happy Birthday David Justice!!!

Happy Birthday David Justice!!!

David Justice turns 48 years old today.

Starring for four different teams during his 16-season big league career, David Justice was a baseball superstar for most of his playing days in the major leagues.

A player with a tremendous swing, Justice was able to hit monster home runs while maintaining a healthy batting average.  On 11 different occasions, Justice collected 20 or more home runs, including 2 seasons with at least 40 dingers.  He also compiled a .300 or better batting average four times.

Justice made the All-star team 3 times.  He won the Rookie of the Year award in 1990 with the Braves.  And most importantly, Justice competed in 6 different World Series match-ups, ultimately winning two championships.

Dave Justice was an impactful player for all of the rosters he was a part of.

Happy Birthday Mr. Justice!!!

1940 HEADLINE: Indians’ Bob Feller Tosses No-Hitter On Opening Day!!

1940 HEADLINE: Indians’ Bob Feller Tosses No-Hitter On Opening Day!!

You read that right, 1940.  Today marks the 70th anniversary of Bob Feller’s Opening Day no-hitter.  He is the only pitcher in major league history to toss a ‘N0-No’ in the season opener.

Battling the Chicago White Sox on the road, and in front of 14,000 fans, Feller and his Indians teammates reigned victorious as they beat the Sox 1-0.  The obvious star of the game was Feller, who dominated the Sox through all 9 innings!

Happy Anniversary Mr. Feller!

Million Dollar Question – What Is With The Amazing Number Of Tommy John Surgeries This Season?

Million Dollar Question – What Is With The Amazing Number Of Tommy John Surgeries This Season?

Is it just me or is the term ‘Tommy John Surgery’ becoming more and more commonplace and less and less ‘unusual’ than it was 5-10 seasons ago.

It seems like every 3-4 days my MLB app on my phone tells me that another pitcher is opting for Tommy John Surgery and is out for a year.

This year specifically, the number seems to be soaring.  I believe that the last count I had was 13 pitchers since Spring Training have had the surgery – and we are just in the middle of the month or April.  Not August, APRIL!!

Sheesh.

And it seems to be effecting both young and older players, and not just starting pitchers either…  Names like Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, Patrick Corbin, Jarrod Parker, Matt Moore, and phenom Jameson Taillon have all gone under the knife recently.

Some other notable pitchers that have been sidelined for the same surgery include Brian Wilson, Steven Strasburg, Adam Wainwright, and John Smoltz.

So, what is the reason for all of these major operations?  Poor technique?  Poor conditioning?  Not warming up the arm properly?  Not enough rest between activity?

I am very eager to hear what you think.  Personally, I think it has more to do with technique than anything else.  Very few pitchers use their legs the way that they should, so more emphasis and strain is put on the arm to bring force to the hitters.  If there was more attention paid to technique at an earlier age  where using the mound and your legs and core was part of the training, I think we would see less and less of these problems.

Tommy John scar

What do you think?

 

1975 Topps Set Card 74/660 – #620 – 1975 Rookie Quad w/Carter, Hill, Meyer, Roberts

1975 Topps Set Card 74/660 – #620 – 1975 Rookie Quad w/Carter, Hill, Meyer, Roberts

Progress: 74/660

Player Name:  Gary Carter, Marc Hill, Danny Meyer, Leon Roberts

Card Number:  620

Team:  Montreal Expos, San Francisco Giants, Detroit Tigers, Detroit Tigers

Position:  Catchers & Outfielders

Image Style:  Posed Portrait

How these players fared in 1975:

Carter – Carter was runner-up for the Rookie Of The Year Award with his .270 batting average and 20 doubles, 17 home runs, 58 runs scored, and 68 RBI.

Hill – Hill hit .217 in 72 games.  He connected for 39 hits, 4 of which were doubles and 5 home runs.

Meyer – Meyer appeared in 122 games for the Tigers in 1975.  He hit .236 with 111 total hits and 47 RBI with 58 runs scored.

Roberts – Roberts hit .257 in 129 games for the Tigers.  Of his 115 hits, 17 were doubles and 10 were home runs.  He scored 51 runs while driving in another 38.

620

Dustin Pedroia 2009 Topps T-206

Dustin Pedroia 2009 Topps T-206

Gotta love the shades!!!

img466

 

I remember when Oakley ruled the sunglasses world decades ago.  Everyone wanted to wear these neat, stylish, and over-priced shades.

It has been a long time since I have worn a pair of sunglasses – but you would never catch me in a pair that looks like these.  Not back then and not today!

1993 HEADLINE: Andre Dawson Joins The ’400 Home Run Club’

1993 HEADLINE: Andre Dawson Joins The ’400 Home Run Club’

On a new team, and playing in front of his home crowd for the first time, Andre Dawson crushed home run #400 of his career in front of 22,000+ fans at Fenway Park.

The former Expos and Cubs All-star player was signed by Boston as a free agent following the 1992 baseball season.  And it did not take long for ‘The Hawk’ to earn the respect and admiration of the ‘Fewnway Faithful’ when he launched a solo home run over the ‘Green Monster’ in the second inning of the contest off of Indians’ pitcher Jose Mesa.

#400 was the first of what would be 13 home runs that Dawson would hit during his 1993 campaign in Boston.

Happy Anniversary Andre!!!