Al Levine, SIU's former record holder for career saves, poses wtih current Saluki Bryant George, who broke Levine's record last season.
Jan. 13, 2010
Al Levine, Baseball: 1990-1991
Al Levine, who was inducted into the Saluki Hall of Fame on Jan. 8, 2010, was one of the most successful pitchers in school history. He is the most recent baseball alum inducted into the Saluki Hall of Fame.
After spending two years at SIU, Levine went on to have a lasting professional career that spanned 10 seasons in the major leagues, including stops with Kansas City, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Chicago White Sox, Texas, Anaheim, Detroit and San Francisco. At SIU, Levine led the MVC in saves with 11 in 1990, and led the league in ERA with a 1.71 mark in 1991. The Salukis' career saves leader with 19, he was named First-Team All-MVC in 1991. Levine was a key member of the 1990 NCAA Tournament team, SIU's last team to make an NCAA Tournament appearance. As a pro, the right-hander pitched in 416 games, primarily as a reliever, and recorded 24 wins and a 3.96 career ERA.
Yet it was the infamous crowds on "The Hill" that Levine remembers the most from his days at Abe Martin Field.
"They were very helpful supporting the team," Levine said. "Every game, The Hill would be packed. There were guys out there with cones just screaming at guys. It was great. It really helped the team."
Throughout his long major league career, Levine faced several SIU alums while on the mound, including Steve Finley and Jerry Hairston, Jr.
Since retiring in 2005, Levine resides in Scottsdale, Ariz., and still treasures his time at SIU.
"It was a great time," said Levine. "I'm very happy that I chose SIU over some other schools."