Dick Avery is said to be the greatest pitcher to ever wear a Bartlett High School baseball uniform.
He compiled a 19-2 record during his varsity career, which included averaging 16 strikeouts per outing.
Dick was a three-sport star for the Indians. He also played and starred on Bartlett basketball and football teams. He was an “A” student in the classroom. In addition, he was the recipient of the Exchange Club’s Most Valuable Baseball Player Award.
The right-handed fireballer signed with the New York Giants after his graduation from Bartlett in 1954. He played for the Giants in their minor league system.
While he inked a Giants contract, he originally was expected to sign a White Sox pact, according to a 1955 published account. It seems a White Sox scout turned up to watch the Bartlett ace go against David Prouty High of Spencer during Dick’s senior year in 1954. Watch the pre-game warm-ups, the “bird dog” pronounced the 5-9, 170-pound youngster too small for major league baseball.
However, the scout stayed for the game’s first two innings, during which Dick walked four batters, perhaps the only real wild streak of his entire scholastic career. The scout left to file a negative report, but Dick regained his poise and went on to hurl a 21-strikeout, no-hit, no-run game. Shortly afterward, he signed the Giants contract.
He played in the Class D Appalachian League for the Wytheville Statesman in West Virginia.
His baseball career came to an abrupt end when he died at age 20 in an automobile accident in late 1955.
A sister, Louise Remy, lives in Webster.