Levine, Al : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Levine, Al

Alan Brian Levine

Levine, a relief pitcher with the 2002 World Champion Anaheim Angels, is a member of the San Francisco Giants organization in 2005 after spending the 2004 campaign with the Detroit Tigers. Through July 22, the Giants - who have been playing without Barry Bonds - have a record of 42-53 (fourth place in the NL West) and Levine has appeared in nine games and has an ERA of 9.58 (11 runs in 10.1 innings).

Birth and Death Dates:
b. May 22, 1968

Career Highlights:
After being drafted in the 11th round by the Chicago White Sox in 1991, Levine spent five years in the minors (he was a teammate of Michael Jordan at AA Birmingham in 1994) before making his big league debut with the Sox in 1996. A starter in the minors, Al became a middle reliever in the majors and appeared in 16 games his first season, finishing 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA. Chicago traded him to the Texas Rangers after the 1997 season, and Al appeared in 30 games for the Rangers in 1998, posting an 0-1 record with a 4.50 ERA.

Levine was then claimed off waivers by the Anaheim Angels before the 1999 season and found his niche in the Angels' bullpen, becoming one of the team's most trusted relievers. In 1999, Al appeared in 50 games (including one start) and had an excellent 3.39 ERA. He was a workhorse out of the bullpen for the Angels again in 2000, appearing in 51 games. Although his season was interrupted by a short stint on the DL due to an aching arm, he finished the season with a 3.87 ERA, a 3-4 record, and the first two saves of his career. When forced to place Levine on the DL, manager Mike Scioscia praised Al's consistency and importance to the team.

Prior to the 2001 season, Levine worked hard on his off-season conditioning, and picked up a modest boost on his velocity, though he did not live on a 90-MPH fastball alone. Levine had a good 2001 season for the Angels, who finished with a record of 75-87. Al appeared in a team-high 64 games, and was 8-10 with two saves and an outstanding 2.38 ERA. He also had 40 strikeouts (and only 28 walks) in 75.2 innings. Levine's 64 games were a career-high, as were his eight wins; he entered the season with only six career wins.

Al emerged as a dependable and versatile pitcher in his four seasons in Anaheim. Primarily a reliever, he also started when the team needed him to do so, and finished when closer Troy Percival was unavailable. Levine, who uses a lot of motion in his windup to fool hitters, gets good results with his sinking fastball, but his slider is his best pitch. His pitches can seem deceptively fast due to his three-quarters delivery.

The Angels finished the 2002 campaign with a 99-63 record, and were the AL wildcard in the playoffs (they finished four games behind the Oakland A's in the AL West). A decided underdog in the divisonal series against the defending AL champs from New York, Anaheim pulled off a stunning upset in soundly thrashing the fabled Yankees in three of the four games. In the American League Championship Series, the Angels then defeated the Minnesota Twins four games to one for the right to represent the AL in the World Series. In the Angels' first World Series appearance in the franchise's 41-year history, Anaheim defeated the San Francisco Giants in a thrilling seven-game competition.

Though Al was left off the post-season roster by manager Mike Scioscia, he pitched creditably for Anaheim. Levine recorded a 4-4 mark, with five saves and a 4.24 ERA in 52 appearances (63.2 innings with 40 strikeouts and 34 walks). One of his teammates on the Angels was fellow Jewish hurler, Scott Schoeneweis.

Al started the 2003 season with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and completed it with the Kansas City Royals, whom he joined on the last day of July. Levine appeared in 18 games for the Royals; he had a record of 0-1 with one save, while allowing only 6 earned runs in 21.1 innings for a natty 2.53 ERA. Al has pitched in 50-plus games each of the last five years, compiling a career record of 21-29 with nine saves and a 3.75 ERA. Kansas City finished the year with an 83-79 mark, in third place in the AL Central.

Prior to the 2004 campaign, Levine signed with the Detroit Tigers as a free agent . With the addition of catcher Pudge Rodriguez and other players like Levine, the Tigers improved upon their miserable 2003 season when they finished with the worst record in baseball. The Tigers finished a somewhat respectable 72-90 and in fourth place in the AL Central. Levine appeared in 65 games and finished 3-4 while allowing 36 earned runs in 70.2 innings for an ERA of 4.58.

Career Dates:
Levine pitched for the Chicago White Sox, 1996-97, the Texas Rangers, 1998, the Anaheim Angels, 1999-2002, the Tampa Ray Devil Rays and Kansas City Royals in 2003, and the Detroit Tigers in 2004-present.

Position:
Pitcher

Physical description:
6'3", 180 pounds
Throws right, bats left

Career Statistics:
(through 2005 season)

Wins: 24
Losses: 33

ERA: 3.96

Games: 416
Games Started: 7
Complete Games: 0

Innings Pitched: 575.0
Hits Allowed: 597
Bases-on-Balls: 236
Strike Outs: 278

Shut-outs: 0

Relief Pitching
Wins: n/a
Losses: n/a
Saves: 10

Batting
At-bats: 2
Hits: 0
Home Runs: 0
Batting Average: 0.00

Fielding Statistics
Put-outs: 30
Assists: 83
Errors: 6
Double Plays: 7

Fielding avg: .950



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References:


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