Behind the photo: An emotional Braves loss in ‘91 series

Tom Hanks performance in the movie “A League of Their Own’’ will be remembered for his line, “There’s no crying in baseball.’’

Not quite.

After the Braves fell to the Minnesota Twins in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, more than a few tears were shed in the clubhouse after an emotional game and series. This photo of Steve Avery sitting bent over at his locker with his hands holding a towel to his face is just an example of what the scene was like in the Braves’ clubhouse after the game at the Metrodome.

Avery, and his two brilliant starts in the NL Championship Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, was the main reason why the Braves had advanced to their first Series ever since the team came to Atlanta. In his two starts against Pittsburgh, Avery pitched 16.1 scores innings, striking out 17 and winning the series MVP.

“1991 was a great season but also a very emotional one,’’ said Avery when he was in town recently for the 20th year anniversary of the 1995 World Championship team. “Every day was intense and the World Series hung on a lot of big moments.’’

In the ’91 Series, Avery started two games but didn’t get a decision in either. In Game 3 in Atlanta which the Braves won 5-4 in 12 innings, Avery went seven innings and gave up two earned runs. In Game 6 with the Braves having won three straight games and holding a 3-2 advantage in the Series, Avery went six innings and gave up three runs. The Braves would lose the game in 11 innings on a Kirby Puckett home run.

Said Mark Lemke, the starting second baseman on the ’91 team, “The one (World) Series I will remember more than any is the one against the Twins. We got down two games and then came back and certainly had our chances to win it. I remember it being a tough one to swallow, especially on the flight back to Atlanta. But I always felt that even with losing to Minnesota, we had begun to establish something special. When we had the parade when we got back to Atlanta, you certainly couldn’t tell we had lost.’’

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