After breaking into the big leagues at age 26 in 1929, Averill played 11 seasons in Cleveland. The centerfielder was an offensive force. In his first ten years in the bigs, Averill he hit .323 and averaged 23 homers with 108 runs batted in.
An All Star in the first six times the Mid Summer classic was played, Averill holds a .395 career on-base percentage. When he retired in 1941, Averill was a 13-year MLB veteran with a case for Cooperstown.
In retirement, Averill was outspoken about deserving a spot in the Hall.
After his 1975 election he remarked, “Had I been elected after my death, I had made arrangements that my name never be placed in the Hall of Fame.” He also said of his induction, ““I could have gotten in sooner, but it’s sure better late than never.”
Because of his baseball exploits, Averill was in high demand for Old Timer’s games. In this letter he writes to Yankee general manager Roy Hamey to confirm his attendance in New York for the 1962 Old Timer’s game.