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.


26 responses to “What Ever Happened To Steve Avery???

  1. http://1988score.blogspot.com/2009/01/steve-avery.html

    One of my all time favorite players. I followed his career closely after he left Atlanta and always felt sorry for him.

    You’re right, he was worked too hard. At 20 years old, his body wasn’t ready to handle the stresses of a major league rotation.

  2. Avery is almost forgotten today but for a while, he was one of the best young left-handed pitchers in the game. Did Leo Mazzone work him too hard? Maybe, but Smoltz & Glavine were about the same age and pitched much longer than Avery before either experienced arm problems. I read somewhere that Avery’s mechanics were bad and the Red Sox tried to change/correct them but with minimal success. If his mechanics were bad, why did Leo let him continue to pitch the way he did? Only Leo can answer that.

  3. Steve is the reason I got sucked into baseball as a kid. There was just something about him. Of course there was something about the whole Braves team. He seemed to pitch with such mechanics and always threw is heart out. I am sure that is why he was hurt and never took his place with the greats. But he was to m.e

  4. one of the best left handed pitchers i have seen
    and coached with his dad ken, and his dad was
    also one of the best left handed pitchers that i had played with. steve was well trained by his dad growing up in taylor.

  5. Steve Avery was my absolute favorite Braves player ever!!! I even named my son Avery who will be 11yrs. old this May!! I wish all the best to Steve and his family!!

  6. Averry was a great young arm and his children r beautiful

  7. I think alot of the fans forgot about the severe health problems his first child was going through I believe right around the time he developed problems. I think he was so wrapped up with that , baseball became something he did to financially take care of his Family, Instead of making it the love of his life at that time.

  8. I loved Steve Avery. He is THE REASON I LOVE baseball today. I first remember saying – back when I knew nothing – Charlie Lebrant was the best pitcher – then I saw Avery. He will ALWAYS be my first baseball love. God bless him and keep him and his family. I would love to see him somewhere again. ESPN maybe…..

  9. U see Ave.. 10 years out and we still love ya!!

    Peace Brotha..

  10. “In 1997 Steve Avery joined the Boston Red Sox and pitched well for them for 2 seasons.”

    Oh really?

    1997 6.42 ERA
    1998 5.02 ERA

    He sucked with Boston but managed a decent record because they had a great offense.

  11. great post… i’ve considered writing a similar post myself. i didn’t realize he even played with the red sox, reds, and tigers. to me, he just sort of just got up and vanished.

  12. Steve was my son’s favorite pitcher – we purchased (or rather I purchased) at least 200 of his rookie cards thinking one day we could be rich. Well, that didn’t happen, but he sure was fun to watch.

  13. He may have been an average player, but he is a less-than-average person. Biggest jerk I have ever met. Cheats on his wife all the time.

  14. Stephanie Schnier

    Steve Avery and David Justice were my first and fav. Braves players ever! My son was born in 2004 and I named him Avery, after Steve Avery.My Avery loves the Braves and, He’s also a very talented left handed pitcher!

  15. Game 6 of the 1991 NLCS playoffs. Without him, I don’t think you would see the dynasty as it was. His best year was 1993. Leo Mazzone wasn’t good in developing young pitchers. That was true with Derek Lilliquist as well.

  16. Taylor Kennedy and my Alma Matre were in the same league in High School. We faced off against them for the Basketball Championships, the game was pretty even till the middle of the 3rd quarter, when he came down with a Rebound and put down a monster 2 hand dunk. During the baseball school, our team beat them when he didnt pitch…they made sure he did the next time our teams met and we hit one fair ball the entire game. I got to see him play center field one day, he stroked 2 beautiful doubles. Damned shame he got hurt, he was a hell of a player for a couple years

  17. Steve grew up across the street on Haig. I saw him soft toss with the neighbor, Michael Ryan, all of the time. He was the best pitcher, bar none, during high school and he proved it when he went to the majors. I was suppose to see him pitch in the minors in Buffalo. His dad called and told me he couldn’t get me tickets. Kiddingly, he said, “he will not be there”. He was brought up to the BIG TICKET, the Braves. It was exciting, knowing him and his family. I was interviewed by the local radio station as I knew both Steve and his wife. By the way, I have the best Avery collection of his baseball cards, I think.

  18. Your article was the first one that came up when I did the Google search, “What happened to Steve Avery,” after watching the MLB Network’s piece on the 91 WS. As far as injury or ineffectiveness, I can’t help but think that a long and consistently prosperous major league career is the ordained right of no man, regardless of how well a career many have started. There’s a reason that only so many ball players are good enough to make Cooperstown. For as well as Steve started off –God, remember how much fun that 91 Series was, where the legacy of those great Bravo pitching staffs would came to national awareness– it might just be a little unfair to compare him to what Glavin Smoltez, and eventually Maddox were able to do. Whether it was injury that impacted his effectiveness and longevity or it was just the rest of the league catching up to what he was spinning, the trajectory of a career can be neither assumed nor expected.

    Great blog, man! You’re in my favourites list now.

  19. The Durham Bulls still think the World about you Steve, Judge Justice. Come on down to watch h the Bull’s first game .Mr Baseball.

  20. Steve was overused early on & way before becoming a pro, I know as our all-star team from Romulus, MI beat the Taylor all-star team with a pitcher named Tony Endura that threw 98mph with several no hitters including one against UM MSU EWU etc.. he too was overused but drafted by the Yankees but a bone spur ended his career early.

    I played on the same team with Steve & against him he was always professional & a great sport win or lose. I caught for him & Tony, Tony threw much harder with a 72MPH knuckleball an 84MPH curve etc…

    I caught Tony 9 years and was on every all-star team with him & both Steve & Tony we were a tough team with 2 outstanding pitchers.

    I was a victim of being 5’8″ 150lbs at 16 years old then got my size too late in the Army 5’11” 250lbs throwing 80mph to 2nd base, Tony fractured my thumb 2 times up to legion ball. While in the Army I followed both pitchers & thought what if? Steve hadn’t been overused? same with Tony pitching hurt while the bone spur wrecked a golden arm but that’s how it goes.

    • Steve was my neighbor, in Taylor and his dad was my JH coach. He was a star, growing up, and his dad told me he was being looked at, at a very young age. He was a great pitcher who had his career end much too early. Unfortunately, I never saw him pitch professionally, only as a Kennedy HS player. If he had the innings left, they could have won the state championship. Oh well…

      • Steve was the reason I became a baseball fan. His pitching amazed me and his humbleness even more. Thank you Steve for making me a baseball lover.

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