Daily Archives: March 4, 2009

What Ever Happened To Steve Avery???

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.

Today Steve Avery lives in Dearborn, Michigan with his wife and 3 children.

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1986 Topps All-Star Rickey Henderson

1986 Topps All-Star Rickey Henderson

This is one of the better All-Star cards of Rickey.  Although the design is fairly dull, it does what an All-star card is supposed to do…

Because of the size of the headline, it screams ‘Rickey Henderson Is An All-Star’

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Great Gifts From Chris At “Project ’62”

When I posted about the last 3 cards I needed to complete my Andre Dawson collection, Chris told me that the 1989 Bowman he had was now mine.  So, when I opened the mail up on Tuesday night, I was thrilled to find Andre waiting for me inside…. 

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 There it is.  I like the ’89 Bowman product.  I remember collecting this in my youth and having all kinds of problems with storage due to the cards being taller than the other cards issued during that time.  Bowman used a ton of posed photography in that ’89 set, and this card of Andre looks great!!!

1 ‘Hawk’ down – 2 to go!!!

Chris also threw in a 1971 Fergie Jenkins card.  I believe that this is the 2nd Fergie from the 1970’s that Chris has sent my way.  A few months back we worked out a ‘Fergie for Ryno’ trade that brought the 1970 Jenkins card into my collection.

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 I’ve always liked the 1971 Topps design.  The black border tends to show the wear and tear a little more than other cards, but for the player collector, it is great to add a 38-year old card to my Fergie Jenkins collection.

Chris rounded out the package with a nice assortment of base and oddball cards of Andre Dawson.  I had a few of these, but adding doubles to my Dawson collection is not a bad thing in my opinion.  It’s like dollar bills, it’s never bad to have a few extra!!!

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Thanks for the great cards Chris!!!  I really appreciate you helping me out with my quests!!!

‘The 40/40 Club’ – 1980’s – Card #28

‘The 40/40 Club’ – 1980’s – Card #28

Tim Raines – 1981 Donruss

Tim Raines may be the best baseball equivalent to the quote – ‘Good things come in small packages.’  Standing just 5 feet and 8 inches tall, Tim ‘The Rock’ Raines had an impact in the game of baseball that many people much larger than him could only dream of.

With a batting average of .304 while collecting 95 hits and stealing 71 bases, Raines’ impact was immediate.  Oh, and he did all of this in just 88 games.  In half a season, he amassed these incredible numbers.  If it wasn’t for a certain pitcher from the Dodgers that also debuted in ’81, Raines would have easily won the Rookie of the Year award.

Year after year, ‘Rock’ put up amazing number for the Expos.  Scoring hundreds of runs, stealing amazing amounts of bases, and still hitting for a solid average, established Tim Raines as one of the best lead-off hitters in baseball.  During his 10 seasons in Montreal, Raines finished in the top 19 for the MVP award 7 times.  His contributions to the team had a great impact and the baseball world began to take notice of this ‘little guy’ on the other side of the border. 

For the better part of 15 seasons, Tim Raines averaged 150+ hits per year and 50+ steals.  His consistent approach to the game and ability to make clutch plays in the field, at the plate, and on the base paths earned him a position with the New York Yankees.  And in 1996 Raines made his lone trip to the World Series and won a championship title.  Although he was used sparingly, it is still Raines’ greatest accomplishment on a team level.

Upon retirement, Tim Raines finished his career with a .294 batting average with 2,605 hits.  His 808 stolen bases is good for 5th place in baseball history. 

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