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.