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Jim Levey

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2003 Jewish Major Leaguers Jim Levey

James Julius Levey

  • Bats Both, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10½", Weight 154 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Jim Levey was a shortstop for 18 years (1927-1945), four in the Major Leagues, with the St. Louis Browns (1930-1933), and 14 in the minors (1927; 1929-1930; 1934-42; 1944-1945), losing two years to the military (1928 & 1943). He served one year in the United States Marine Corps after World War I (1928) and in the United States Army during World War II (1943) (GB). He hit 109 home runs in the minors.

He was discovered in the Marines by scout Tom Keady. He played for the Salisbury Indians in 1927, hitting .252 in 143 at-bats. In 1929, he played for the Tulsa Oilers, hitting .287 in 334 at-bats. For the Wichita Falls Spudders in 1930, he hit .289 with 16 home runs in 662 at-bats. Levey was 24 years old when he broke into the big leagues on September 17, 1930, with the St. Louis Browns.

Levey made 147 errors in three years as the Browns' regular shortstop, hitting .280 in 1932 but under .210 in all his other seasons.

Although his big league career was done after the 1933 season, he played professionally in the minor leagues until 1945. On December 13, 1933, he was traded with Wally Hebert and Smead Jolley to the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League for Alan Strange. He played for the Stars in 1934 and 1935, hitting .256 in 718 at-bats in the former year and .278 in 532 at-bats in the latter. In 1936, he played for the Oilers and Dallas Steers hitting a combined .252 in 587 at-bats.

From 1937 to 1940, he played for the Dallas Steers and Dallas Rebels. He hit only .226 in 1937, and in limited time in 1938 (93 games) he hit .233. 1939 was an improvement, as he hit .272 with 14 home runs and 33 doubles in 142 games. He hit .253 in 137 games in 1940.

In 1941 and 1942, Levey played for the Buffalo Bisons, hitting .194 in 1941 and .251 in 1942. In 1944 he was back with Buffalo, hitting .200 in 200 at-bats. 1945 was his final professional season, and arguably one of his best - he hit a career-high .302 in 348 at-bats for the Jamestown Falcons.

In the minors, he hit .256 in 1,699 games.

He managed Dallas in 1938 and Jamestown in 1945.

Levey returned east in the fall to join the Pittsburgh Pirates professional football team, where he played halfback for three seasons. Unfortunately Pittsburgh was as dismal at football as St. Louis was at baseball. He died from cancer at age 63 and is buried at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas, TX.

[edit] Sources

Principal sources for Jim Levey include newspaper obituaries (OB), government Veteran records (VA,CM,CW), Stars & Stripes (S&S), Sporting Life (SL), The Sporting News (TSN), The Sports Encyclopedia:Baseball 2006 by David Neft & Richard Cohen (N&C), old Who's Who in Baseballs {{{WW}}} (WW), old Baseball Registers {{{BR}}} (BR) , old Daguerreotypes by TSN {{{DAG}}} (DAG), Stars&Stripes (S&S), The Baseball Necrology by Bill Lee (BN), Pat Doyle's Professional Ballplayer DataBase (PD), The Baseball Library (BL), Baseball in World War II Europe by Gary Bedingfield (GB) {{{MORE}}} and independent research by Walter Kephart (WK) and Frank Russo (FR) and others.

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