Steven Thomas Avery

Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 2022
Connection to Michigan: John F. Kennedy High School, Detroit Tigers
Primary position: Pitcher


Steve Avery was a teenage sensation in Taylor, Michigan, taking Taylor American Legion to the state championship when he was 16 years old and receiving the Kiki Cuyler Award as tournament MVP. Two years later, he gained greater attention. As a senior at John F. Kennedy High School, he was named Michigan’s Mr. Baseball after posting a 13-0 record with a 0.51 ERA and 196 strikeouts in 88 innings, plus turning in a .511 batting average with eight home runs.

Avery was drafted third overall by the Atlanta Braves that June and skyrocketed through the minors with impressive performances in the Appalachian League, Carolina League, Southern League and, at 20 years old, Triple-A International League to begin the 1990 season. After just 13 starts for the Richmond Braves, Atlanta called The Kid up to make his MLB debut on June 13, 1990.

Avery made 21 appearances, 20 starts, in his rookie year in the Major Leagues, none more impressive than the shutout he threw on August 24 to outduel future teammate Greg Maddux and the Chicago Cubs.

1991 was far better, for both Steve Avery and Atlanta. The Braves went from worst to first, jumping from the cellar into the postseason, and Avery was named National League Championship Series Most Valuable Player after totaling 16 1/3 innings in two scoreless gems against the Pirates.

It was the start of what proved to be 18 career postseason appearances, 12 starts, with five wins and a 2.90 career ERA on baseball’s biggest stage, culminating in a Braves World Series title in 1995. Two years earlier, Avery received individual acclaim, being named to the 1993 National League All-Star Team.

In all, Steve Avery pitched 11 seasons in the Major Leagues spanning 1,554 2/3 innings. He concluded his career with his hometown Detroit Tigers in 2003.

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