Friday, October 17, 2014

Food-Issue Friday: I Dubuque You, Steven!

There was quite a transformation that took place in the career of Steve Avery between October of 1990 and October of 1991.

As the third overall pick in the June, 1988 amateur draft, Avery rocketed through the Braves farm system- reaching the majors in less than two years. The kid was barely twenty years old when he made his major league debut on June 13, 1990 and his inexperience showed: he lasted but 2.1 inning in Cincinnati, giving up 8 earned runs on 8 hits and three walks. Bent but not broken, Avery faced the same Reds team six days later at home and pitched much better. And though the entire 1990 season was chocked full of growing pains, it served as a refining process- preparing Steve for the 1991 season in which he would taste both regular season and post season success. His rookie season had left many fans doubting the use of a high draft pick on a high school pitcher; his second campaign vindicated the organization's choice.

1991 Dubuque Braves Steve Avery
Issued at Sunday home games, the 1991 Dubuque Braves cards were sponsored by the stadium's hot dog concessionaire and distributed to children 14 and under. Three to six cards were issued at a time, with print runs at 15,000 (according to the 2011 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards).

The unique thing about this card is that it pictures the young Avery wearing number 42, which he wore only during his rookie season. The only other card I can recall showing him with this number is his 1990 Leaf card. There might be others, but none that I can remember.

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